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Relief of Mourning Women

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

These three mourners come from a relief, representing a funeral procession, that once decorated a tomb chapel. Holding the fringed top of her dress in one hand, each mourner beats her bared breast with the other. This standard gesture of mourning in ancient Egypt was accompanied by loud cries of grief, as indicated by the open mouth of the woman on the right. The three women's girlishly plump figures and the sweet expressions of the two on the left reflect the freshness and charm of Egyptian artistic style during the fourth century B.C. The delicately carved surface was once covered with paint, part of which has survived.

MEDIUM Limestone, painted
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 381-343 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XIII Dynasty
    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)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1998.98
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Relief of Mourning Women, 381-343 B.C.E. Limestone, painted, 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
    IMAGE overall, 1998.98_overall_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
    "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 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.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (92%)
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