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Ancestral Bust of a Woman

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Ancestral busts were kept in the home, perhaps used in rituals that helped maintain the deceased in the afterlife or allowed the living and dead to communicate. Both of these busts were made about the same time and demonstrate how even a cheaper pottery example could be exquisitely made and decorated, though clearly a painted limestone bust would have been more expensive to commission.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
DATES ca. 1336–1279 B.C.E.
DYNASTY late Dynasty 18 to early Dynasty 19
PERIOD New Kingdom
DIMENSIONS 10 1/4 x 6 1/8 x 3 3/4 in. (26 x 15.6 x 9.5 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Painted limestone bust of a woman of “ancestral bust” type. Details of eyes probably were painted, ears pierced; lappet wig with traces of blue paint, surmounted by “modius” painted red. Remains of large painted necklace which covered most of body area, with red tie-string on reverse. Condition: Paint largely lost. Rear of wig broken. Minor chips.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Ancestral Bust of a Woman, ca. 1336–1279 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 10 1/4 x 6 1/8 x 3 3/4 in. (26 x 15.6 x 9.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 54.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 54.1_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE front, 54.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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