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Bust of a royal figure with downward-hanging snake

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
400–200 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Limestone
Dimensions:
h. 13.4 cm (5 1/4 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number:
07.228.6
  • Description

    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 purporting to be 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.
    These nature of these figures and other features indicate the reliefs and sculptures of this class, sometimes called by Egyptologists “sculptor’s models / votives,” were the material for 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.
    In this example, the king displays a variant uraeus - the snake's head hangs downward over the forehead rather than rising - often seen on the royal personifications among this group of objects.

  • Provenance

    Purchased in Egypt from Panayotis Kitycas, 1907. Formerly Timmins Collection.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
551287:3

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