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Egyptian Man in a Persian Costume

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

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

Occasionally Egyptians wore foreign costumes and jewelry. The taste for non-Egyptian fashion arose during periods of extensive trade or diplomatic contact with distant courts, or when Egypt was controlled by a foreign power. The Persians, who twice invaded the Nile Valley from their Iranian homeland, dominated Egypt during Dynasty 27 (525–404 B.C.) and Dynasty 31 (342–332 B.C.). This statue dates to the later period of Persian rule in Egypt.

The long skirt shown wrapped around this statue's body and tucked in at the upper edge of the garment is typically Persian. The necklace, called a torque, is decorated with images of ibexes, symbols in ancient Persia of agility and sexual prowess. The depiction of this official in Persian dress may have been a demonstration of loyalty to the new rulers.

MEDIUM Granite
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 343-332 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XXXI Dynasty
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 31 1/8 x 17 1/2 x 11 1/8 in., 134.26kg (79 x 44.5 x 28.3 cm, 296 lb.)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 71.139
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Brush
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Egyptian Man in a Persian Costume, ca. 343-332 B.C.E. Granite, 31 1/8 x 17 1/2 x 11 1/8 in., 134.26kg (79 x 44.5 x 28.3 cm, 296 lb.). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Brush, 71.139. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, CUR.71.139_NegI_print_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
    "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 One grey granite male figure preserved from shortly below the navel up to the top of the head. The figure wears a bag wig, and wrap-around garment. On top and in front of the wig is a flat-topped projection of stone used by the sculptor as a reference point while carving statue. The garment has, as can be seen on the sides of the figure behind the arms, flaring sleeves; and it is likely, as evidenced by the slightly forward bend of the lower part of the garment, that the figure once held a naos before him. In the rear is a back pillar, with top in the form of a truncated pyramid which rises up beyond the lower edge of the wig. Condition: Broken off diagonally just below navel. Lips and nose battered; large chip out of chin; other small chip and scratches. Projection on tip of wig, area of wig around it and forehead are restored.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (92%)
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    Egyptian Man in a Persian Costume