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Erotic Musicians

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Although it is one of many similar compositions, this statuette has particular interest for the inscribed rectangular item, possibly a papyrus, on top of the man’s phallus. The nonhieroglyphic writing is enigmatic, perhaps representing musical notation.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 305–30 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 13/16 x 8 1/4 in. (14.8 x 21 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Erotic group in soft white limestone. Nude man seated, his enlarged phallus extended on ground. Smaller figure of nude woman playing harp seated on far end of phallus. The man holds curious object in front of him – a musical instrument? Some detail outlined in black paint. Condition: Entire surface worn. Numerous chips along base, on man’s legs etc. Assembled with some restorations along center of phallus.
    CAPTION Erotic Musicians, 305–30 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 5 13/16 x 8 1/4 in. (14.8 x 21 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund , 58.34. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.58.34_wwg8.jpg)
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.58.34_wwg8.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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