Plaque with nude female in a shrine niche

Late Period–Ptolemaic Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134

Limestone or terracotta plaques showing nude women in the niche of an Egyptian-form shrine were popular from 600-275 BC. Sometimes architectural pediments are carved and Bes figures or Hathor columns may be represented beside the niche; here traces of paint on the jambs can no longer be resolved into any particular form.

The bobbed-haired voluptuous woman has a long history in the first millennium, but no precise identity. Small plaques like these are probably to be associated with the informal artworks distributed in conjunction with festivals celebrating a divine birth and fertility.

Plaque with nude female in a shrine niche, Limestone, paint

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