New Kingdom, Amarna Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 121

This fragment shows a very successful integration of two carving techniques. The delicate outlines of the leaves and their veins are lightly incised into the surface, while the heavy, dense clusters of grapes are in deeply modeled sunk relief, evoking plump dark grapes against the shaded tracery of the vines. The block might belong to a scene highlighting daily life and nature, or, more likely, to a scene of the royal family under a vine-laden pavilion.

A clue is preserved to the block's architectural position on the wall: the rough strip to the left was probably a highly raised and rounded astragal (border or transition element) protecting the corner of a small shrine.

Grapevine, Limestone, paint

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