Funerary Figure of Isis, Singer of the Aten, Limestone

Funerary Figure of Isis, Singer of the Aten

New Kingdom, Amarna Period
Dynasty 18
reign of Akhenaten
ca. 1353–1336 B.C.
From Egypt; Probably from Middle Egypt, Amarna (Akhetaten)
H. 22.3 × W. 7.2 × D. 6 cm (8 3/4 × 2 13/16 × 2 3/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Fletcher Fund and The Guide Foundation Inc. Gift, 1966
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 122
This funerary figure belonged to a woman who had the title Singer of the Aten, the god worshipped by Akhenaten. Althought similar to a shabti, this figure is not inscribed with chapter six of the Book of the Dead (the shabti spell) and makes no mention of the funerary god Osiris. In a seeming paradox, but one that speaks of the strong psychological and cultural ties of ordinary Egyptians to the traditional religion, the owner is called Isis, the name of the great funerary goddess who was the wife of Osiris. The facial features, including the so-called "sfumato" eyes, closely resemble the style of Amarna.
Previously in the collection of [Alexander?] von Frey, Germany, who sold it to the dealer [Hermann?] Burg in Europe. Placed by the latter with Storer in New York, then returned to widow Mrs. [Margaret?] Burg, who sold it to Spink in England. Purchased from Spink in New York by Albert Gallatin in April, 1948. Gallatin Collection purchased by the Metropolitan Museum from Mr. Gallatin's estate, 1966.

Fischer, Henry G. 1967. "The Gallatin Egyptian Collection." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, new ser., vol. 25, no. 7 (March), p. 261, fig. 12.