Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Plaque Depicting a Goddess or Queen, and on Opposite Side a King

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
400–200 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Limestone, paint
Dimensions:
H. 18.7 cm (7 3/8 in.); W. 11.5 cm (4 1/2 in.); D. 2.2 cm (7/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number:
07.228.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
Small Late Period and Ptolemaic reliefs or sculptures that depict a subject in a partial or unfinished way but are themselves finished objects constitute a special class of object. Guidelines like those for artists are often prominently exhibited as part of the object, although, in fact, many instances can be noted where the object simply could not serve as a suitable model for a traditional formal Egyptian representation. Personifications of kingship, figures that may represent the now emerging demigods Imhotep and Amenhotep Son of Hapu, and popular gods like Harpokrates or Isis are heavily represented within the corpus.

Taken together, the figures represented and the other features indicate the reliefs and sculptures of this class, sometimes called by Egyptologists "sculptor’s models / votives," were the material of a donation practice, perhaps connected with the prolific temple building of these centuries. Unfortunately there is little to illuminate us about the mechanics of such a donation practice.

This small relief shows a female with a vulture headdress, so either a goddess or a queen, the former most likely. On the opposite side is the face of a king which has been left before final smoothing and removal of tool marks.
Formerly Timmins Collection. Purchased in Egypt from Panayotis Kitycas, 1907.

Lythgoe, Albert M. 1907. "Recent Egyptian Acquisitions." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 12 (December), p. 194, fig. 2.

Young, Eric 1964. "Sculptors' Models or Votives?: In Defense of a Scholarly Tradition." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 22, no. 7 (March), p. 253 fig. 1.

Hostens-Deleu, Ria 1979. Beeldhouwersmodellen in de Egyptische afdeling van de Koninklijke Musea voor kunst en Geschiedenis. Brussels, pp. 26, 31.

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