Statuette of a Woman Playing Crotales

Made in Eastern Mediterranean
Copper-based alloy
Hl: 8 11/16 in. (22 cm)
Credit Line:
Département des Antiquités Égyptiennes, Musée du Louvre, Paris (E 25393)
Not on view
During both the Byzantine and the Islamic periods, female images signified abundance, fertility, intellectual pursuits, deities, and cities. Women also appear as court entertainers such as dancers, musicians, and courtesans.
This female dancer holds crotales (handled castanets), a musical instrument often used by the maenads in the Dionysiac revels and still used in North African music.
Exhibition history: L'art copte, Petit Palais, June 17-September 15, 1964 (see L'art copte: [exposition] Petit palais 17 juin - 15 septembre 1964 (Paris, 1964), no. 112; Vingt ans d'acquisitions au Musée du Louvre, 1947-1967, Orangerie des Tuileries, Paris, December 16-March 1968 (see Vingt ans d'acquisitions au Musée du Louvre, 1947-1967: Orangerie des Tuileries. Paris, 16 décembre-mars 1968 (Paris, 1968), no. 226); L'art Copte en Egypte: 2000 ans de christianisme, Institut du monde arabe, Paris, May 15-September 3, 2000; Musée de l'Ephèbe, Cap d'Agde, September 30 septembre, 2000- January 7, 2001 (see L'art Copte en Egypte (Paris, 2000), no. 285)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.