Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Relief plaque of cobra on a neb basket

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
400–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Limestone
Dimensions:
H. 12.5 cm (4 15/16in.); W. 9.7 cm (3 13/16 in.); D. 1.8 cm (11/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number:
07.228.14
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
Small Late Period and Ptolemaic reliefs or sculptures that depict a subject in a partial or unfinished way but are themselves finished objects constitute a special class of object. Guidelines like those for artists are often prominently exhibited as part of the object, although, in fact, many instances can be noted where the object simply could not serve as a suitable model for a traditional formal Egyptian representation. Personifications of kingship, figures that may represent the now emerging demigods Imhotep and Amenhotep Son of Hapu, and popular gods like Harpokrates or Isis, are heavily represented within the corpus.

Taken together, the figures represented and the other features indicate the reliefs and sculptures of this class, sometimes called by Egyptologists "sculptor’s models / votives," were the material of a donation practice, perhaps connected with the prolific temple building of these centuries. Unfortunately there is little to illuminate us about the mechanics of such a donation practice.

This relief depicts the cobra on a basket from the king's Two Ladies name.
Purchased by the Museum from Maurice Nahman, Cairo, 1907.

Lythgoe, Albert M. 1907. "Recent Egyptian Acquisitions." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 12 (December), p. 195.

Related Objects

Plaque Depicting a Goddess or Queen, and on Opposite Side a King

Date: 400–200 B.C. Medium: Limestone, paint Accession: 07.228.2 On view in:Gallery 134

Block Statue of Ankhwennefer

Date: ca. 690–650 B.C. Medium: Limestone Accession: 1993.161 On view in:Gallery 127

God's Wife Tagerem

Date: 300–250 B.C. Medium: Limestone Accession: 2010.18 On view in:Gallery 131

Head Attributed to Arsinoe II

Date: 278–270 B.C. Medium: Limestone (Indurated) Accession: 38.10 On view in:Gallery 134

Relief from the Palace of Apries in Memphis

Date: 589–570 B.C. Medium: Limestone Accession: 09.183.1a1–23 On view in:Gallery 123