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Left Foot from an Anthropoid Coffin

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Funerary Gallery 2, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
The pliability of wood allows for more detailed and naturalistic carving than stone. Because of the scarcity and cost of the material in ancient Egypt, the feet and arms of wooden statues or anthropoid (i.e., human-shaped) coffins were often made separately.

The fact that this life-size painted foot extends as far as the heel suggests that it was originally part of a coffin rather than a statue. Although independently modeled feet on anthropoid coffins appeared as early as the late New Kingdom, the sandals and red outline of toenails on this foot are more typical of the Greco-Roman period.
MEDIUM Wood, gesso, pigment
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 30 B.C.–2nd century C.E.
    PERIOD Roman Period (probably)
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/16 x 3 1/5 x 6 5/8 in. (5.2 x 7.7 x 16.8 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Two (2) holes for pegs, painted yellow with red outlines of toenails; red and white sandal top.
    CAPTION Left Foot from an Anthropoid Coffin, 30 B.C.–2nd century C.E. Wood, gesso, pigment, 2 1/16 x 3 1/5 x 6 5/8 in. (5.2 x 7.7 x 16.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.2041.1E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.2041.1E_top_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE top, 37.2041.1E_top_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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