Figurine of a Seated Woman, Limestone, organic material, paint, malachite

Figurine of a Seated Woman

Period:
Late Naqada II
Date:
ca. 3450–3300 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt; Possibly from Northern Upper Egypt, Naqada (Nubt, Ombos)
Medium:
Limestone, organic material, paint, malachite
Dimensions:
D. 22.8 x H. 19.8 x W. 9.4 cm (9 x 7 13/16 x 3 11/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number:
07.228.71
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 101
This limestone figurine is the finest preserved of unusual group of Predynastic statuettes. These seated women display beak-like noses and missing or schematized arms. The hair, narrow waist and wide hips are clearly shown to emphasize female sexuality. The light colored surface created an ideal canvas for painted details, including jewelry and animal figures that scholars now believe are associated with a ritual activity. Her eyes were enhanced with green malachite and her elaborate coiffure was modeled separately using a mixture of plant matter and fats. She wears a series of necklaces in red and green beads and unusual beaded anklets.
#3211. Figurine of a Seated Woman
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Purchased by the Museum from Mohammed Mohassib via Theodore Davis, 1907.

Lythgoe, Albert M. 1907. "Recent Egyptian Acquisitions." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 12 (December), p. 195.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 19-20, fig. 11.

Scott, Nora E. 1964. "Egyptian Jewelry." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, new ser., vol. 22, no. 7 (March), p. 224, fig. 2.

Cox, Warren E. 1979. The Book of Pottery and Porcelain, 1. 1979. New York: Crown Publishing, p. 32, fig. 39.

Patch, Diana Craig 2011. "From Land to Landscape." In Dawn of Egyptian Art, edited by Diana Craig Patch. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 25.

Patch, Diana Craig 2011. "The Human Figure." In Dawn of Egyptian Art, edited by Diana Craig Patch. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 98, 101, 104, 122–23, 128, n. 20, no. 102.

Allen, Susan J. 2011. "Works in the Exhibition." In Dawn of Egyptian Art, edited by Diana Craig Patch. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 253, no. 102.