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Face from an Anthropoid Coffin

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

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

This face from a coffin is treated in a manner called "hieroglyphic." Its features are like individual hieroglyphs and are not totally integrated into the face by means of organic modeling.

The piece is dated to Dynasty XXI and attributed to Thebes because it resembles very closely many faces on coffins of that time and place. The face's shape and features reflect the revival of the artistic style of the earlier part of Dynasty XVIII (circa 1539–1390 B.C.) or early Dynasty XIX (circa 1295–1250 B.C.), some of whose art was influenced by the art of early Dynasty XVIII.

MEDIUM Wood, gesso, pigment
  • Reportedly From: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1070-945 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 22
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 8 7/16 x 8 1/16 x 4 5/16 in. (21.5 x 20.5 x 11 cm)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The object is part of the composite head from a coffin. Made of wood, it was covered with gesso and then painted. The red pigment of the face is still in excellent condition as are the black and white pigments used for the eyes. Some surface damage has occurred to the lower part of the tip of the nose. Wooden tenon projects from the top of the head which at one time fit into a socket on the wig which was fashioned separately.
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