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Fragmentary Statue of a Figure with Dwarfism

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

This statue is a typical Hellenistic genre figure, sitting perhaps in the pose of an Egyptian scribe, with the legs crossed in front of the body. The combination of Greek and Egyptian styles suggests that this piece was made in an Alexandrian workshop at the end of the Ptolemaic Period or later. In Greece, as in Egypt, physical anomalies were seen as a mark of special knowledge and connection with the gods. Both ancient cultures associated deities with dwarfism with fertility and the protection of families, especially mothers and children.
MEDIUM Granite
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 1st century B.C. - 1st century C.E.
    PERIOD Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 16 5/16 x 16 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (41.5 x 42.5 x 47 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Fragmentary Statue of a Figure with Dwarfism, 1st century B.C. - 1st century C.E. Granite, 16 5/16 x 16 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (41.5 x 42.5 x 47 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 48.9. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE front, CUR.48.9_negA_bw.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 Fragmentary gray granite seated statue of nude, male hunchback. Figure is seated on rectangular (or square) base with left leg raised, sole of foot flat on base. Right leg rests on base and passes under the raised left leg. Torso modeled in great detail with ribs of chest indicated. Left arm probably rested on left knee. Portion of right arm not clear, joined to body as far as elbow. Condition: Poor. Head, arms, major portion of left leg front and sides of base, missing, Scattered chips over entire surface.
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    Fragmentary Statue of a Figure with Dwarfism