Figure of a Woman

Object Name: Figure

Date: 5th century

Geography: Attributed to Egypt, Eshmunein

Culture: Coptic

Medium: Painted plaster

Dimensions: Overall: H. 15 1/8 in. (38.4 cm)
W. 5 13/16 in. (14.7 cm)
D. 3 3/4 in. (9.6 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of Maurice Nahman, 1912

Accession Number: 12.185.4

Description

This terracotta statue was originally gaily painted in red, black, yellow, and white. It came from an Egyptian tomb, probably a Christian one, as the woman depicted wears a small cross. The actual modeling of the piece is very simple, as artists of this time and place preferred to directly paint on aspects such as shadows and folds of drapery, rather than model or carve them. This woman's two-piece garment has been marked out in this way: the lighter over-robe has been painted on in gray, while the heavier under-robe conforms to the generalized shape of her body, and is painted to appear embroidered. The bottom of the statue is directly attached to the base; a heavy black line is the only indication of a break or shadow.

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