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Man Holding a Shrine Containing an Image of Osiris

Period:
Late Period
Date:
5th–4th century B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Graywacke
Dimensions:
h. 46.6 cm (18 3/8 in); w. 11 cm (4 5/16 in); d. 16.9 cm (6 5/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
25.2.10
  • Description

    This man places his open hands on either side of a small naos containing a statuette of Osiris. He wears a close-fitting cap and a long wraparound garment whose ends are gathered in a roll and tucked in at the chest. A slight smile appears on his smooth round face, and raised rims give a bit of emphasis to his eyes. The simple clean lines of the large figure are reinforced by the subdued sheen of the fine graywacke.
    The Osiris figure seems to have been carved by a different sculptor. The god's eyes are indicated only by an upper ridge over a flattened surface (known as the sfumato technique), and the pattern of his arms and scepters is unusually overlapped and complex-possibly an intentional effect, or perhaps because the artist did not properly calculate the layout of the figure to allow for more comfortably arranged arms.
    The man's gesture protects the naos and was meant to bring about a relationship between him and the god in order to benefit him in the afterlife. It does not necessarily reflect any aspect of the man's occupation in life.

  • Provenance

    Purchased from Maurice Nahman, Cairo 1925.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
551807

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