Finely sculpted in wood, this female figure is wearing highly sophisticated clothes comprising a long, pleated tunic that clings to her body and a heavy wig covering down to her shoulders, crowned by a partially lost diadem. Her hair seems tightly curled and ends in interwoven fringes, with two fringes leading from her forehead until halfway down the wig. The lady’s real hair appears on her forehead underneath the wig. It is painted black, as are her eyebrows and the outline round her eyes.
Her dress crosses at the front between her covered breasts, although it was customary at that time to leave the right breast exposed. The pleated tunic covers her left arm, which is bent and ends in her closed hand below her breasts, while her right arm, hanging alongside her body, is bare and seems once to have had an armband. Her wrists are decorated with gold bracelets, although her hands no longer have their original adornments, which were probably lotus flowers. The three-string gold necklace with geometrical decoration made using incised lines adds a touch of sophistication. The original rectangular base, also in wood, bears no inscription.
Although the statuette in the Gulbenkian Collection no longer has the flowers that would originally have decorated the figure’s hands, other pieces show that floral decorations were the normal adornment for these ladies, who are portrayed in all their physical beauty for eternity. These flowers enable such sculpted images to be linked to the literary imagery found in the beautiful love poems from the 19th Dynasty, where the plant motifs both participate in and contribute to an erotic environment of enjoying a carefree daily life.
Amherst Collection. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian through Colnaghi at the sale of the Amherst Collection, Sotheby’s, London, 24 June 1921.
H. 25 cm
Luis Manuel de Araújo, Egyptian Art. Calouste Gulbenkian Collection. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2006, pp. 90–2, cat. 13.
These cookies are used to enhance your browsing experience, security and our website's performance, allowing you to access the main features of the website. Therefore, they are always enabled. This type of cookies includes cookies that allow you to be remembered as you browse the website during a single session.
These cookies collect information about the use of the website to improve the services provided and to evaluate the performance of the website. Some of these cookies may be used to test pages or the functionality of the website by measuring the reaction of users. These cookies may be our own and / or owned by third parties.
These cookies are third-party cookies that allow to connect to social media and share multimedia content from our website on those networks. Some of these cookies help us to adapt advertising outside of our website to the interests of the users. By disabling these cookies, it will no longer be possible to directly share our content in any social media
For more information about cookies and the processing of your personal data, please see the Privacy and Cookies Policy. You can change your cookie settings at any time through the link at the bottom of the page.