Raised Relief of a Goddess or Queen
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
This work’s style of high, rounded relief and soft bodily proportions is characteristic of Ptolemaic art. The base of a crown is visible on the figure’s head along with a cobra at her forehead. She wears a long hairstyle and a dress that ends in a scalloped hem. One hand is raised, perhaps in worship of a divinity. The other hand holds the ankh-sign, the hieroglyph meaning “life.” The headgear, clothing, and hand gestures could characterize either a queen or a goddess. Since Ptolemaic queens were sometimes considered deities, this relief could represent both.
ca. 45-41 B.C.E.
29 x 15 3/4 x 2 3/4in. (73.7 x 40 x 7cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Raised Relief of a Goddess or Queen, ca. 45-41 B.C.E. Sandstone, pigment, 29 x 15 3/4 x 2 3/4in. (73.7 x 40 x 7cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 1989.159. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1989.159_PS9.jpg)
overall, 1989.159_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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Bold sunk relief in sandstone of a standing woman. The figure faces left with raised right arm, horizontal left arm holding a life-sign in hand. Rising from a modius atop a wig adorned with a fillet is the lower portion of a crown consisting of tall plumes fronted by cow's horns, and presumably, a solar disk. Around the fillet is coiled the body of a cobra whose head and spread hood rise before the figure's head. The figure wears a broad-collar necklace, represented in relief, and a tight dress starting just below the breasts and ending in a scalloped hemline. Remains of pigment indicate that the dress was painted blue with a central vertical panel of red. Areas of red pigment are also found on the figure's face, chest, and arms. Blue-green pigment indicates armlets and bracelets were painted on the figure. Before the figure is a partially preserved column of hieroglyphic text. Figure and text are framed at the side by raised border lines.
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