Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Cosmetic Vessel in the Shape of a Dwarf

New Kingdom, Amarna Period
Dynasty 18
reign of Amenhotep III–Akhenaten
ca. 1353–1323 B.C.
From Egypt; Said to be from Middle Egypt, Amarna (Akhetaten)
Travertine (Egyptian alabaster) (?)
H. 20.8 cm (8 3/16 in.); W. 9 cm (3 9/16 in.); D. 7.9 cm (3 1/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 121
The twisting motion of the dwarf carrying a heavy storage jar on his shoulder defies the usual rigid frontality of Egyptian statuary, making this a true piece of sculpture in the round. Such an artistic liberty was acceptable for whimsical representations of anonymous servants but never would have been allowed in formal sculpture, even in the more expressive art of the Amarna period.
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