Ithyphallic Man with a Harp
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
This object is what is called a macrophallus, a style of hyper sexualized figurine common during the Roman Period in ancient Egypt. It may have been used to enhance fertility, and would have served as a votive object for all levels of society, not only the wealthy.
The figure’s lack of formal elegance breaks significantly with other Egyptian representations at the time. Rather than following the typical standard of ideal bodily proportions, figures like this one highlighted the carnal, as the man plays a harp with his exaggerated phallus.
3rd-4th century C.E.
5 11/16 x 3 7/8 x 2 3/16 in. (14.4 x 9.8 x 5.6 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour
Seated terracotta statuette of a nude man holding in his left arm a harp on which he plays with his phallus. Cast hollow in two parts mould.
Condition: General condition good. Slightly worn, extensive remains of plaster (?) around base of phallus.
This item is not on view
Ithyphallic Man with a Harp, 3rd-4th century C.E. Terracotta, pigment, 5 11/16 x 3 7/8 x 2 3/16 in. (14.4 x 9.8 x 5.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 16.271. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.16.271_NegC_print_bw.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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