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Sketch of Osiris

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Even if he were not labeled by the hieroglyphs at the right ("Osiris, the great god"), this deity would be easy to identify. Osiris, lord of the underworld, is always shown as a mummy, often wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt adorned with two feathers of Ma`at (cosmic harmony). Here the god holds his characteristic crook and flail and is seated in a shrine or under a canopy.

Though the almond eye, long nose, and full lips suggest a New Kingdom date (Dynasties 18–20, circa 1539–1070 B.C.E.), many other details indicate that the sketch was made in the Ptolemaic Period. The meticulous detail, manifest in the delineation of the ear, the eye, the plaited beard, the nostril, the thumbnails, and the feather pattern of the throne, is diagnostic for Egyptian drawing and relief of the fourth through first centuries B.C.E.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
DATES 305–30 B.C.E.
PERIOD Ptolemaic Period
DIMENSIONS 15 x 7 1/2 x 3 9/16 in. (38.1 x 19 x 9 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION One limestone fragment (roughly rectangular) bearing an ink sketch of the god Osiris seated in a shrine. Red washes have been applied to the atef crown and chair back. Traces of red underdrawing are visible on the flail and crook which the god holds. Inscribed. Condition: The upper left hand corner is broken off. Much chipping on the edges all round is noted. Two chisel marks are easily seen on the surface (modern chisels). Part of the upper extremity of the atef has been rubbed off. Back of the fragment is irregularly shaped.
CAPTION Sketch of Osiris, 305–30 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 15 x 7 1/2 x 3 9/16 in. (38.1 x 19 x 9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.52E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.52E_wwg8.jpg)
IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.37.52E_wwg8.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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