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Funerary Stela with Boy Standing in a Niche

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The most common image of the deceased in pagan burials was a figure of a boy standing or seated in a niche. The seated boy here holds a dove and a bunch of grapes. These objects may also have been held by the standing figure, but his hands and especially his head have been recut and repainted in modern times. That is why those features appear to be in perfect condition, in contrast to the partially preserved color on his red robe.
MEDIUM Limestone, ancient and modern paint in ochre, dark terracotta, brown, black and flesh-tone
DATES 4th–5th century C.E.
PERIOD Late Antique Period
DIMENSIONS 27 9/16 x 9 5/8 x 6 1/2 in. (70 x 24.5 x 16.5 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Limestone funerary stela with rounded top, painted ochre, dark terracotta, brown, black, and flesh-tone. Male figure, frontal, recessed in a rectangular niche, wearing tunic painted dark terracotta with two black claves. The feet, hands, tunic, and eyes are outlined in black; sandals painted on feet. Objects clasped in both hands, in right hand an unpainted and unidentified object, in the left an object painted black, perhaps the so-called wreath of justification. Above, a sun disc in relief with painted uraei. Condition: Chipped in several places. A considerable amount of paint has flaked off, especially from the tunic.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Coptic. Funerary Stela with Boy Standing in a Niche, 4th–5th century C.E. Limestone, ancient and modern paint in ochre, dark terracotta, brown, black and flesh-tone, 27 9/16 x 9 5/8 x 6 1/2 in. (70 x 24.5 x 16.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 58.129. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 58.129_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 58.129_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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