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Representation of a Queen or Goddess

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

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

Although both queens and goddesses were often represented in the Ptolemaic Period with elaborate headdresses consisting of a vulture surmounted by cow's horns and a sun disk, the smaller of these two females is clearly labeled as the goddess Isis by a hieroglyph above the orb of the sun. The identity of the woman on the larger fragment is uncertain. Both works feature the style characteristic of Ptolemaic art: fleshy cheeks and especially the bullet-shaped breast and luxuriant belly and thighs on the smaller piece. Although the latter work may have been a sculptor's trial piece, as suggested by the grid pattern on the rectangle at the upper right, the hole at the top indicates that it may have been reused as a temple offering.

MEDIUM Sandstone, pigment
  • Reportedly From: Philae, Egypt
  • DATES 305-30 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 7 5/8 x 7 3/8 x 4 5/16 in. (19.3 x 18.8 x 10.9 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Fragment of a sandstone relief from the Philae Temple. The fragment shows the head of a goddess wearing a nekhbet headdress over a striated tripartite wig. The bottom part of the double-plumed crown (swty) is evident at the top of the fragment. The fragment shows her cut in raised relief though she is certainly positioned in a larger scene cut in sunk relief. Condition: The fragment is in excellent condition. There are several horizontal black streaks on the upper part and there are white plaster incrustations in some of the incised lines on the figure.
    CAPTION Representation of a Queen or Goddess, 305-30 B.C.E. Sandstone, pigment, 7 5/8 x 7 3/8 x 4 5/16 in. (19.3 x 18.8 x 10.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1488E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1488E_NegA_glass_bw_SL4.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1488E_NegA_glass_bw_SL4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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