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Relief of Mourning Women

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
This relief sculpture represents three mourners coming from a funeral procession. Each holds the top of her dress in one hand and beats her bare chest with the other. This gesture of mourning in ancient Egypt was often accompanied by loud cries of grief, evident in the open mouth of the woman on the right.

This relief was probably located originally in a tomb chapel. Traces of paint indicate that it would originally have been quite colorful.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 381–343 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 31
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 11 7/16 x 13 3/8 x 1 3/8 in. (29 x 34 x 3.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Fragment of limestone raised relief with remains of original paint, representing three mourning women. They stand, facing left, each holding the flaps of their dress in one hand and beating their breast with the other. Surviving paint is concentrated in the areas of their upper and middle bodies. Condition: Good; some blackish and brownish patches over surface.
    CAPTION Relief of Mourning Women, 381–343 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 11 7/16 x 13 3/8 x 1 3/8 in. (29 x 34 x 3.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 1998.98. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1998.98_overall_SL3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 1998.98_overall_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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