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Female Figurine

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Like many of the earliest female figurines, this woman is shown with rudimentary arms, large breasts, hips, and thighs, and no indication of lower legs or feet. Her head is small, with unrealistic facial features; it has been heavily restored. The figure was modeled in clay, dried in the sun, and then painted in several colors, with patterns that may represent tattoos or jewelry. Whether images like these represented real, ideal, or divine women, their main purpose was certainly to encourage female fertility.
MEDIUM Clay, pigment
DATES late 5th millennium B.C.E
PERIOD Late Halaf Period
DIMENSIONS 4 1/8 x 1 7/8 x 1 5/8 in. (10.4 x 4.7 x 4.2 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Hagop Kevorkian Fund and Designated Purchase Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Painted terracotta figure of seated female; highly stylized head with pinched nose, elongated, pointed top (so-called polos type), eyes indicated by two large black masses; thick neck resting on broad shoulders extending as tubular arms which bend inward and support two huge breasts; black dots covering upper torso, breasts painted brown; very thick abdomen covered with tan and black spots; legs shown as extremely thick thighs tapering quickly to pointed feet, legs decorated with thickly applied black bands, some with masses of tan paint in between; back of statuette with single line of red paint running up spine and terminating in two oblique lines at shoulder blades creating form resembling an arrow, mass of dark paint at base of figure's rear.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Ancient Near Eastern. Female Figurine, late 5th millennium B.C.E. Clay, pigment, 4 1/8 x 1 7/8 x 1 5/8 in. (10.4 x 4.7 x 4.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Hagop Kevorkian Fund and Designated Purchase Fund, 1990.14. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1990.14_threequarter_right_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1990.14_threequarter_right_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
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