Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Cosmetic Vessel in the Shape of a Dwarf

Period:
New Kingdom, Amarna Period
Dynasty:
Dynasty 18
Reign:
reign of Amenhotep III–Akhenaten
Date:
ca. 1353–1323 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt; Said to be from Middle Egypt, Amarna (Akhetaten)
Medium:
Travertine (Egyptian alabaster) (?)
Dimensions:
H. 20.8 cm (8 3/16 in.); W. 9 cm (3 9/16 in.); D. 7.9 cm (3 1/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.1963
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 121
The twisting motion of the dwarf carrying a heavy storage jar on his shoulder defies the usual rigid frontality of Egyptian statuary, making this a true piece of sculpture in the round. Such an artistic liberty was acceptable for whimsical representations of anonymous servants but never would have been allowed in formal sculpture, even in the more expressive art of the Amarna period.
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan from Mohammed Mohassib, Luxor, 1909. Donated to the Museum, 1917.

Scott, Nora E. 1944. Home Life of the Ancient Egyptians: A Picture Book. New York: Plantin Press, fig. 29.

Hornemann, Bodil 1951. Types of Ancient Egyptian Statuary (Copenhagen, 1951-1969). II, pl. 339.

Hayes, William C. 1959. Scepter of Egypt II: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part II: The Hyksos Period and the New Kingdom (1675-1080 B.C.). Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 314, 316, fig. 198.

Robins, Gay 2001. Egyptian Statues, Shire Egyptology, 26. Princes Risborough, p. 17, fig. 10.

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