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Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken. The lotus flowers drawn on its flanks reflect the animal as it would be seen standing in the Nile among the natural vegetation.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1938–1539 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 12 to Dynasty 17
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom to Second Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 4 5/16 × 2 15/16 × 7 3/16 in., 2 lb. (11 × 7.5 × 18.3 cm, 0.91kg)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Faience statuette of standing hippopotamus. Head frontal and slightly lowered, feet parallel, tail in high relief. Glazed blue, now largely turned green. Decorations on manganese of lotus flowers and buds arranged in conventional pattern. Rosette (lotus in top view) on each buttock. Lotus leaf on each side of head. Glaze on left side of body badly worn. Right ear chipped. Chips on jaw (each side). Minor chips on body.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Hippopotamus, ca. 1938–1539 B.C.E. Faience, 4 5/16 × 2 15/16 × 7 3/16 in., 2 lb. (11 × 7.5 × 18.3 cm, 0.91kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.226.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 86.226.2_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 86.226.2_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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