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Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

Relief carvers working at Akhenaten's capital devised a method of using space to imply movement—a method seen in this relief of a chariot drawn by a pair of horses. Besides raising the animals' forelegs off the ground in the traditional Egyptian convention for representing a gallop, the artisan introduced the novel device of leaving blank the entire left half of the block. The viewer is supposed to understand this space as the area into which the chariot is moving.

Amarna relief carvers seemed to delight in adding unusual details that broke with Egyptian artistic tradition. On this relief, for example, one of the horses turns its head to stare directly at the viewer. In earlier scenes of chariots, horses were always depicted in pure profile.

MEDIUM Limestone, pigment (modern)
DATES ca. 1352–1336 B.C.E.
DYNASTY late Dynasty 18
PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
DIMENSIONS 21 1/16 x 9 x 1 1/4 in. (53.5 x 22.8 x 3.2 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of New Hermes Foundation
PROVENANCE The Great Temple at Tell el-Amarna, Egypt; probably reused inside the pylon of Ramsses II at Hermopolis Magna, Egypt; by 1960, acquired from an unidentified source by the New Hermes Foundation; 1960, gift of the New Hermes Foundation to the Brooklyn Museum.
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MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
CAPTION Chariot, ca. 1352–1336 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment (modern), 21 1/16 x 9 x 1 1/4 in. (53.5 x 22.8 x 3.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of New Hermes Foundation, 60.28. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 60.28_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 60.28_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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