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Fragment of Temple Relief of King's Face

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor

Most Egyptian reliefs decorating ancient temple walls were brightly painted. Limestone was too porous to allow for an even application of color, so artists usually covered a wall with plaster, smoothed the surface, and painted directly on the dried plaster. Over time, the painted plaster layer separated from the limestone and fell from the wall, so very little original coloration survives. Through the accidents of preservation, this fragment of the king's face retains most of its ancient paint.

MEDIUM Limestone, painted
  • Place Excavated: Lisht, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1919-1875 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XII Dynasty
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 6 9/16 x 19 11/16 in. (16.7 x 50 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 52.130.1
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Fragment of Temple Relief of King's Face, ca. 1919-1875 B.C.E. Limestone, painted, 6 9/16 x 19 11/16 in. (16.7 x 50 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 52.130.1. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE detail, CUR.52.130.1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Fragment of limestone temple relief. At left, upper half of face of king wearing Upper Egyptian crown. At extreme right, portion of two strands of flail (?). Colors well preserved; skin of king red; eye-strips and eyebrows, blue; crown yellow (?); background, white. Condition: Preserved portion intact. Slight loss of paint.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (84%)
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