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Palace Painting

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

Unlike temples, constructed of stone to last forever, Egyptian places were made of mud brick, and each was probably used for no more than a generation or two. Artists covered palace walls with layers of plaster on which they painted idyllic scenes of palace activities and life along the Nile. This detail shows lotus buds and flowers; it may represent the edge of a pool in a palace garden.

MEDIUM Mud, pigment
  • Place Found: Tell el-Amarna, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
    DIMENSIONS 15 3/4 x 25 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (40 x 64.8 x 3.8 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Large fragment of fresco with two registers of lotus design, probably forming the lower border of a large wall composition. The fresco is a good though not important example of the type of decoration used in the houses at Amarna. The upper register is orange-red with black outlines. The divisions between registers are black; the lower and more complete register has a blue background with flowers in green and white, black outline. The preserved portion is in fragile condition and is apparently extremely thin. The surface has flaked considerably and apparently much of the blue background has been lost.
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