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Stela with Boat and Osiris

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Funerary Gallery 2, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
This lower-quality stela with non-standard subject matter suggests a work produced outside the elite tradition. A man with a large flail kneels before a table stacked with offerings. Above him, a ship with a large cabin and a long steering oar—but no representation of a sun god, unlike the more prevalent imagery of the Stela of Anhorkhawi, displayed nearby—sails on a strip of water above four fish.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Reportedly From: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1292–1075 B.C.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 19 (probably)
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 13 x 9 5/8 x 4 1/2 in. (33 x 24.5 x 11.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Saqqara, Egypt; by 1852, collected in Egypt by Henry Abbott of Cairo, Egypt and New York, NY; 1859, purchased from Henry Abbott by the New-York Historical Society, New York, NY; 1937, loaned by the New-York Historical Society to the Brooklyn Museum; 1948, purchased from the New-York Historical Society by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Small limestone stela inscribed on both large sides. The stela is round-topped, and all four sides taper in somewhat towards the top. The bottom edges and corners are also rounded. One of the surfaces bears two registers of representations. The upper register contains the representation of a boat with unfurled sail floating upon a band of water containing four fish. The lower register bears the representation of a man kneeling with his arms up before him in an attitude of adoration. Upon his shoulder rests a flail. Before him is a double offering table above and below which are offerings. Border lines enclose both registers (except at the top). On opposite side, in upper register is a figure of Osiris seated and facing left towards an offering table. On the other side of the table is a standing man wearing a long skirt and wig, and holding his arms up before him in an attitude of adoration. Between, and above these two figures is an inscription. In the lower register, to the right is an offering table and offerings. To the left of this table is a kneeling woman, with her arms up before her in an attitude of adoration. She wears a long transparent dress, and a long wig surmounted by a lotus. Above and before her is the inscription. Before her stomach are signs. Behind the woman stands a man with a long skull, and wearing a long skirt. His arms are up in adoration. Above him is text; before him is text. The technique of the representations is that of a poor shallow sunk relief. All edges are chipped. Condition: On first side the top of boat's mast is not preserved, and there is a large chip behind the kneeling man. The surface on this side is blackened.
    CAPTION Stela with Boat and Osiris, ca. 1292–1075 B.C. Limestone, 13 x 9 5/8 x 4 1/2 in. (33 x 24.5 x 11.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1919E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1919E_NegA_glass_bw_SL4.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1919E_NegA_glass_bw_SL4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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