Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Plaque with nude female in a shrine niche

Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
600–275 BC
From Egypt
Limestone, paint
H. 9.5 cm (3 3/4 in.); W. 6.5 cm (2 9/16 in.); D. 2.3 cm (7/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Lily S. Place, 1923
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
Limestone or terracotta plaques showing nude women in the niche of an Egyptian-form shrine were popular from 600-275 BC. Sometimes architectural pediments are carved and Bes figures or Hathor columns may be represented beside the niche; here traces of paint on the jambs can no longer be resolved into any particular form.

The bobbed-haired voluptuous woman has a long history in the first millennium, but no precise identity. Small plaques like these are probably to be associated with the informal artworks distributed in conjunction with festivals celebrating a divine birth and fertility.
Collection of Lily S. Place, Cairo. Donated by Lily Place to the museum, 1923.

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