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Part from Shrine for a Divine Image

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

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

The central panel here is inscribed for the Thirtieth Dynasty king Nectanebo II (reigned circa 360–342 B.C.). It comes from a shrine that presumably held a cult statue of the squatting goddess it depicts. Showing a figure in heavy, enveloping robes like this was a standard way of representing deities and symbolizing protection and the potential for life and regeneration. The resemblance to a wrapped mummy has led some Egyptologists to wonder: Is a mummy a body stylized into a divine image?

The side panels are probably from a different and earlier shrine.

MEDIUM Wood, glass
  • Place Found: Abusir, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 664-342 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26 to Dynasty 30
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.259E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Part from Shrine for a Divine Image, ca. 664-342 B.C.E. Wood, glass, 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.259E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.259E_wwgA-2.jpg)
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery A-2 installation, CUR.37.259E_wwgA-2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Wooden figure of a winged goddess who extends both wings before her (one upwards and one downwards). In the triangular space between the wings is a figure of a king kneeling with his arms raised. Both goddess and king are inlaid with colored glass. Part of a piece of furniture such as an arm of a chair. Condition: Top of goddess' head missing; king's arms and legs only partially preserved; many glass inlays missing.
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