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Relief with Female Musicians

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

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

This relief appears to show a standing female servant pouring a libation or perfume to the first of several squatting female musicians, one playing a tambourine and the others clapping out a beat. The main text, perhaps part of a hymn being sung, mentions a goddess as a "uraeus cobra of gold." On the basis of Its style, the relief can probably be attributed to a late Ramesside tomb at Saqqara.

MEDIUM Limestone
  • Possible Place Collected: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1185–1070 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 20 (probably)
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 12 1/8 × 22 1/16 × 2 9/16 in. (30.8 × 56 × 6.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Limestone slab with sunk relief representation of the upper parts of three female figures facing right. They are wearing plant ornaments on their heads; the first receives a liquid from a figure bending forward of which the nose and forehead with lotus flower and both arms only are visible. Second figure plays a tambourine; third figure seems to clap hands, and one hand of a fourth figure is visible at the left. Remains of hieroglyphics caption with each figure; the whole surmounted by one line of text. Condition: Fragmentary; three corners missing; chipped in many places, but a few traces of faint color are preserved. Modernly cut at top.
    CAPTION Relief with Female Musicians, ca. 1185–1070 B.C.E. Limestone, 12 1/8 × 22 1/16 × 2 9/16 in. (30.8 × 56 × 6.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund , 68.150.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.68.150.1_wwg8.jpg)
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.68.150.1_wwg8.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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