The AMICA Library
AMICA Library Year:
African; North African; Egyptian
Ancient Egypt Africa,North Africa,Egypt
Relief Plaque Showing a Queen or Goddess
Ptolemaic Period, 2nd/1st century B.C.
Creation Start Date:
Creation End Date:
Materials and Techniques:
Limestone, traces of pigment
The woman portrayed on this limestone plaque wears a headdess in the form of a vulture, its wings protectively spread along her head. Bead spacers decorate her elaborate coiffeur, and the ends of her curls are accentuated by tiny drill holes. Rows of lotus flowers, marguerites, and papyrus flowers suspended from a band of round beads compose her broad collar. The basic features of this work-the woman's general appearance, her headdress, and her jewelry-fit well into a tradition of Egyptian art that spans more than a thousand years. Certain features of this composition, however, are characteristic of the Ptolemaic (Greek) Period in Egypt: specially the fleshiness of the cheek, chin, and neck; the small almond-shaped eye and the extended eyebrow line; theshort rounded nose; and the drilled detail of the wig. As goddesses, queens, and certain types of priestesses wore the vulture cap headdress, it is impossible to identify the status of the woman depicted. Artists of the mid- and late Ptolemaic Period (second to first centuries B.C.) employed a curious artistic convention, evident here, of omitting the broad collar on what we take to be the rear shoulder. This omission probably indicates that that area was considered to be a part of the arm and shoulder, rather than the region of the neck and chest.
H: 21.1 cm (8-5/16 in.); W: 19.6 cm (7-3/4 in.); D.: 2.1 cm (15/16 in.)
The Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Purchase Fund
Artists of the mid- and late Ptolemaic Period (second to first centuries B>C.) employed a curious artistic convention, evident here, of omitting the broad collar on what we take to be the rear shoulder. This omission probably indicated that that area was considered to be a part of the arm and shoulder, rather than the region of the neck and chest.
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