Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Upper sectoin of a blue-painted Hathor Jar from Malqata

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
reign of Amenhotep III
ca. 1390–1353 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Malqata, Palace of Amenhotep III, MMA excavations, 1910–11
pottery, slip, paint
H. 24.5 (9 5/8 in.); diam. 25 cm (9 13/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1911
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 120
This is the upper part of a jar that would have been over twice the height. A complete jar would have a complex profile, somewhat similar to a figure 8, with this beaker shaped upper section joined at the waist to a wide slightly shouldered jar. The piece has an overall white slip, and then is painted mainly with vegetal motifs in blue, with touches of black and red, characteristic of Egyptian "blue-painted ware" of this period.

The preserved neck has a relief Hathor emblem on opposite sides. The goddess face was probably formed by pressing the clay into a mold formed for the purpose – the pressure of fingers can be seen on the interior of the jar. The Hathor face wears a blue straight wig, bound at intervals by red ribbon. On the other sides are bound papyrus motifs between animal-headed scepters known as was scepters.

This jar was found in Amenhotep III’s festival city of Malqata. Hathor’s own drunkenness, which saved mankind from her wrath, along with her role as a goddess of pleasure, connects her with drink: it is tempting to think such vessels could have been used to serve wine or beer.
Museum excavations, 1910–11. Acquired by the Museum in the Division of Finds, 1911.

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