Collections: Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art: Relief of Mourning Women

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

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    1998.98_overall_SL3.jpg 1998.98_left_detail_SL3.jpg 1998.98_right_detail_SL3.jpg 1998.98_center_detail_SL3.jpg CUR.1998.98_wwg8.jpg 1998.98_negA_bw_IMLS.jpg 1998.98_negA_bw_IMLS.jpg 1998.98_negB_bw_IMLS.jpg 1998.98_negB_bw_IMLS.jpg 1998.98_negD_bw_IMLS.jpg 1998.98_negD_bw_IMLS.jpg 1998.98_negC_bw_IMLS.jpg 1998.98_negC_bw_IMLS.jpg 1998.98_negE_bw_IMLS.jpg 1998.98_negE_bw_IMLS.jpg

    Relief of Mourning Women

    These three mourners come from a relief, representing a funeral procession, that once decorated a tomb chapel. Holding the fringed top of her dress in one hand, each mourner beats her bared breast with the other. This standard gesture of mourning in ancient Egypt was accompanied by loud cries of grief, as indicated by the open mouth of the woman on the right. The three women's girlishly plump figures and the sweet expressions of the two on the left reflect the freshness and charm of Egyptian artistic style during the fourth century B.C. The delicately carved surface was once covered with paint, part of which has survived.

    • Medium: Limestone, painted
    • Place Made: Egypt
    • Dates: 381-343 B.C.E.
    • Dynasty: XIII Dynasty
    • Period: Late Period
    • Dimensions: 11 7/16 x 13 3/8 x 1 3/8 in. (29 x 34 x 3.5 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
    • Museum Location: This item is on view in Northwest Corner, Intro Gallery
    • Accession Number: 1998.98
    • Credit Line: Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Relief of Mourning Women, 381-343 B.C.E. Limestone, painted, 11 7/16 x 13 3/8 x 1 3/8 in. (29 x 34 x 3.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 1998.98. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 1998.98_negE_bw_IMLS.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: Fragment of limestone raised relief with remains of original paint, representing three mourning women. They stand, facing left, each holding the flaps of their dress in one hand and beating their breast with the other. Surviving paint is concentrated in the areas of their upper and middle bodies. Condition: Good; some blackish and brownish patches over surface.
    • Record Completeness: Best (92%)
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    Recent Comments
    08:21 04/19/2011
    we beat our breasts
    and we wail:
    death has visited us;
    death has been

    we walk in mourning
    and the smell of death
    is in the air;
    so look to yourselves,
    O mortals -
    for no one knows
    when and where
    death will be next
    for though life is
    filled with beauty
    and pleasures and freshness
    no one knows
    when and where
    death will be next

    we beat our breasts
    and we wail:
    death has visited us;
    death has been

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