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Nursing Woman

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The pose of the nursing woman—a standard one in Egyptian art—was also the hieroglyph meaning “nurse.” Because its subjects are not identified, this little figure probably did not represent real individuals but rather served as a votive gift requesting a goddess’s protection.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1938-after 1630 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 12 to Dynasty 13
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 4 9/16 in. (11.6 cm) base: 2 1/2 x 3 5/16 in. (6.3 x 8.4 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Limestone statuette of seated woman nursing male child. Woman seated on uninscribed rectangular base, her left leg raised, foot on ground, the right leg on ground behind left leg. Dress ending at knee with fringed seam at rear. Heavy wig with rear, central division and two lappets on front. Illegible inscription incised on head of child. Condition: Front and back of base chipped. Surface worn. Left foot of woman missing. Some traces of red paint on bodies.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Nursing Woman, ca. 1938-after 1630 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 4 9/16 in. (11.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 51.224. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.51.224_erg456.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.51.224_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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