Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Man squatting with head resting on his hands on his knees

Ptolemaic Period
332–30 B.C.
From Egypt
Leaded bronze
H. 5.2 × W. 2.7 × D. 3.1 cm (2 1/16 × 1 1/16 × 1 1/4 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1926
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
This statuette belongs to a late type from Egypt seen in limestone or bronze depicting a nude individual resting with his hands and head on one or both knees. One interpretation connects these with mourners depicted in earlier tomb reliefs. There are also small faience figures from Rhodes sometimes termed 'temple boys'' that are related in pose, as well as Hellenistic statuettes of 'Ethiopians' apparently representing crouching and waiting servants.

This figure's large head, haggard features and fatigue are notable; a servant is probably intended, but the meaning of his fatigue or dejection is not clear to us.
Acquired by Lord Carnarvon (d. 1923) in Cairo. Carnarvon Collection purchased by the Museum from Lady Carnarvon, 1926.

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. 223.

Feucht, Erika 1984. "Ein Motiv der Trauer." In Studien zu Sprache und Religion Ägyptens. Zu Ehren von Wolfhart Westendorf überreicht von seinen Freunden und Schülern, p. 1104, pl. 2a.

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