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Relief of an Aged Courtier

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

Unlike Egyptian sculpture, both Egyptian reliefs and paintings rarely depict elderly persons. This very exceptional relief shows an unknown man in full maturity with a marked furrow from his nose to his lips, a double chin, prominent collarbones, a bulging Adam's apple, sagging pectoral muscles, and deeply lined paIms. Most unusual is the pronounced vein or artery in his extended forearm. This remarkable naturalism is a legacy of the Amarna Period. The style of the wig is indicative of the date.

MEDIUM Limestone
  • Reportedly From: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1336–1250 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 18 to early Dynasty 19
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 5 11/16 x 12 5/16 in. (14.4 x 31.3 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, probably a tomb at Saqqara; before 1920, reportedly acquired by an unidentified French collector; by 1920, acquired by Feuardent Frères; 1920, purchased from Feuardent Frères by the Brummer Galleries; June 12,1947, purchased from the Brummer Galleries (P292) by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Oblong limestone relief. In sunk relief head and bust of man facing left. Left arm outstretched with hand and forearm frontal, thumb in perspective. Realistic, elderly face with elaborate wig. Vertical bar (support of a canopy?) behind man; remains of hieroglyphs and unidentified object at top edge. Condition: Poor. Entire stone heavily saturated with salts. Some of surface has been lost. Portions of face flaking. All edges very soft. Top edge of relief has been cut in modern times.
    CAPTION Relief of an Aged Courtier, ca. 1336–1250 B.C.E. Limestone, 5 11/16 x 12 5/16 in. (14.4 x 31.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 47.120.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 47.120.1_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 47.120.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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