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Part from Shrine for a Divine Image

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

The central panel here is inscribed for the Thirtieth Dynasty king Nectanebo II (reigned circa 360–342 B.C.). It comes from a shrine that presumably held a cult statue of the squatting goddess it depicts. Showing a figure in heavy, enveloping robes like this was a standard way of representing deities and symbolizing protection and the potential for life and regeneration. The resemblance to a wrapped mummy has led some Egyptologists to wonder: Is a mummy a body stylized into a divine image?

The side panels are probably from a different and earlier shrine.

MEDIUM Wood, glass
  • Reportedly From: Abusir, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 664–342 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26 to Dynasty 30
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 15 15/16 x 9 1/4 in. (40.5 x 23.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Wooden figure of a winged goddess who extends both wings before her (one upwards and one downwards). In the triangular space between the wings is a figure of a king kneeling with his arms raised to hold a "neb" basket, "wadjet" eye and "nefer" sign. Both the figures of the king and the goddess are inlaid with colored glass. The king's face is green. Part of a piece of furniture; probably part of an arm of a chair. Condition: Inlays missing.
    CAPTION Part from Shrine for a Divine Image, ca. 664–342 B.C.E. Wood, glass, 15 15/16 x 9 1/4 in. (40.5 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.260E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.260E_wwgA-2.jpg)
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery A-2 installation, CUR.37.260E_wwgA-2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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