Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Cosmetics and Eye Care
Egyptian women and men used eye makeup for both decoration and protection.
The most popular eye cosmetic consisted of ground galena, a dark lead ore, mixed with water or gum to produce a black paste called kohl. It was stored in squat containers usually made of stone. Applied to the rims and lashes, kohl emphasized the eyes’ contours and reduced sun glare, much like lamp-black worn by modern football players.
This ancient cosmetic is still used as eye makeup throughout the Near East.
ca. 1938-1700 B.C.E.
XII Dynasty-early XII Dynasty
37.646Ea: 1 15/16 x Diam. 1 5/8 in. (4.9 x 4.2 cm)
37.646Eb: 1/4 x Diam. 1 3/4 in. (0.7 x 4.4 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Kohl Pot, ca. 1938-1700 B.C.E. Basalt (probably), 37.646Ea: 1 15/16 x Diam. 1 5/8 in. (4.9 x 4.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.646Ea-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.646Ea-b_erg2.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 11/26/2007
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