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Boat-Building Scene

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

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

Some boat-building scenes are known from the New and Middle Kingdoms. Nevertheless, this relief finds its best parallels In Old Kingdom works, that is, in works done before circa 2200 B.C. Unlike those earlier compositions, however, this scene is strongly based on curving lines, such as the unusually exaggerated pose of the man swinging an adze. The workmen's faces are related both to Old Kingdom figures and to faces such as those on the Hatshepsut temple relief in this vitrine.

MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Possible Place Collected: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 664-634 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY early Dynasty 26
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 7 5/8 x 10 5/8 in. (19.4 x 27 cm)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Painted limestone tomb relief. Subject, in raised relief, men building a boat. Only left half of boat preserved. Kneeling man at left with adze seems to be cutting roped which had maintained curvature during construction; another at right, also kneeling works on hull with mallet and chisel. Four other incomplete figures of men. Colors; white, background and kilts, red, bodies and details of ropes; yellow, ropes, tools and edge of boat. Condition: Incomplete. Upper and lower right corners missing. Minute cracks throughout stone. Bulk of paint is preserved.
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