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Relief with Desert Animals

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor

This fragment—originally part of a large hunting scene—shows desert animals breeding in their wild habitat. To the right, a wild feline noses after his mate. At lower left, a male antelope, mounting his mate, rears his head into the row above. The four female legs and two male hind legs of two other antelopes are visible at the upper left. At the lower right, the hindquarters of an antelope giving birth and the emerging head of her calf are partly preserved. The bovine calf at center left completes this depiction of the cycle of life, which, by being represented in the tomb, achieved eternal significance for the Egyptians.

MEDIUM Limestone, painted
  • Place Excavated: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2472-2455 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY middle V Dynasty
    PERIOD Old Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 11 7/16 x 17 1/16 x 1 3/16 in. (29 x 43.3 x 3 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 64.147
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Relief with Desert Animals, ca. 2472-2455 B.C.E. Limestone, painted, 11 7/16 x 17 1/16 x 1 3/16 in. (29 x 43.3 x 3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 64.147. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 64.147_SL1.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 Rectangular slab of fine white limestone with the remains of three registers depicting animals of the desert on a hilly terrain in very low relief. Traces of brown and red color. Register (1) has three pairs of ungulate feet facing left; register (2) has on the left a calf and on the right two panthers, the register being broken by the head of the male bubalis from below; register (3) has two mating bubales on the left and hindquarters of an animal giving birth to a young on the right. Condition: Chipped and marred in spots; right upper corner missing; bottom, top and left side ancient, right side fragmentary. Calcite deposits.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (92%)
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