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Head of a Male Figure

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
The slight smile, the soft facial features, and the downward-pointing viper on the brow (where there would normally be a rearing cobra)of some of these images suggest that they represent one or more of the kings of the fourth century B.C.E. Whether sculptors' models or temple offerings (see case label), they illustrate the diversity contained in and the problems associated with this well-attested category of Egyptian art. For example, the busts appear to be temple offerings, but several of them have artists' working marks such as L-shaped depth guides (70.91.2) or a grid pattern (16.76).
MEDIUM Plaster
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 4th century B.C.E.
    PERIOD Late Period to Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 9 1/16 x 5 1/2 x 5 1/8 in. (23 x 14 x 13 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Head of a Male Figure, 4th century B.C.E. Plaster, 9 1/16 x 5 1/2 x 5 1/8 in. (23 x 14 x 13 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 82.22. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.82.22_wwg8.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "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 plaster mask of an ancient Egyptian male, perhaps representing a king, with naturalistically modeled eyebrows, long hollow eyes and cosmetic lines (both originally inlaid), short rounded nose with deep nostrils, small mouth with upturned corners, and fleshy, double chin. The figure once wore a headdress (the headband of which is just visible along the forehead and the left eartab is still preserved). Condition: There are dark brown lines on the right side of the neck and just above the right cosmetic line (possibly traces of paint); dark spots inside the right cosmetic line, at the tip of that cosmetic line and on the neck; entire surface of head heavily pitted; chips and scratches on cheeks and both sides of neck, tip of nose abraded, some surface discoloration with a great dark spot beneath left eye.
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    Head of a Male Figure