Skip Navigation

Female Figure

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
These three figurines represent two women and a man. They resemble the group painted on the Jar with Boat Design in a nearby case. In the scene on the jar, the larger female figure with upraised arms appears to be celebrating a ritual in the presence of the two smaller figures.

The bird-like faces on two of these figurines probably represent human noses, the source of the breath of life. The dark patch on the larger female’s head and the white paint on the male’s head and shoulders represent hair, also a human trait. All three figurines wear white skirts, indicating high-status individuals.
MEDIUM Terracotta, painted
  • Reportedly From: Ma'mariya, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 3500-3400 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Predynastic Period, Naqada IIa Period
    DIMENSIONS 11 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 2 1/4 in. (29.2 x 14 x 5.7 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 07.447.505
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

    Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

    For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

    For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

    If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Female Figure, ca. 3500-3400 B.C.E. Terracotta, painted, 11 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 2 1/4 in. (29.2 x 14 x 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 07.447.505. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 07.447.505_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "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 Pottery figurine of a woman. Small head, with beak-like face, on long neck, expanding to shoulders. Rather long breasts. Waist gracefully curving into uplifted arms with hands turned in and pointed; thumbs detached; fingers, separated by sharp grooves on both sides, and graded in length naturalistically; wrists and elbows not indicated. Legs without feet, peg-shaped, their separation indicated by extremely shallow groove. Proportions rather natural. "Steatopygy" pronounced; torso flat. Fine brownish pottery, painted red on body, black, very thickly laid on, on hair; whitish, indicating cloth, from hips down; blackened near "feet" in front. Very fine specimen. Condition: Lacking both thumbs, finger-tips of right hand. Right arm repaired at elbow. Lower part repaired above knees. White painting almost entirely gone. Much of "hair" lost. Seemingly some repainting on torso.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (91%)
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.