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Kitchen Scene

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Amarna art frequently provides the modern viewer with scenes of everyday life in an Egyptian palace. This relief presents a highly detailed glimpse of the activities in the palace kitchen. At the far left are two vaulted bakehouses. The worker in the bakehouse on the right shields his face from the flames rising from the fire. Above this scene are the fragmentary remains of the royal brewery. At the center of the relief two men carry a huge wine jar, suspended in a net from a pole, through an open double door into a court. Two details in the court are particularly noteworthy: the small cupboard containing five pairs of sandals, evidently the property of the kitchen help, and the workman who sweeps the floor of the court with a short-handled broom.

MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Place Found: Hermopolis, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1352–1336 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
    DIMENSIONS 8 1/2 × 21 3/8 × 1 1/2 in. (21.6 × 54.3 × 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Limestone relief. Scene within house (or palace?). At right, servant sweeping yard which contains entrance, tiny garden and enclosure for sandals. Center, two servants carrying huge jar on pole. At left, curious domestic scenes, perhaps cooking. Condition: Chipped along upper edge. Scattered chips on surface.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Kitchen Scene, ca. 1352–1336 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 8 1/2 × 21 3/8 × 1 1/2 in. (21.6 × 54.3 × 3.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 62.149. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 62.149_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 62.149_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2024
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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