Sunday, July 27, 2014

Museum Pieces - Relief fragment with the head of a lady

Relief fragment with the head of a lady

New Kingdom 
19th Dynasty, early 13th century BC 
Location: Location unknown


H 22.6 cm, W 25.6 cm, D 4.4 cm 

This relief fragment probably originates from the wall of a private tomb. It shows a left-turned head of a woman. She wears a wig made of strands and braids, which partially obscure the disc-shaped earrings. To the woman's head a decorated band is wound. At the woman's forehead is a lotus flower. On the eye and brow makeup lines are attached. Under the eye with fine lines are well reproduced tears. Typical for the period of the relief is the representation of wrinkles on the neck.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Egyptian - Oriental Collection

Inv.-Nr. AE_INV_73
1821 purchase by EA Burghart in Egypt



  1. Hi Dennis
    The lady well may cry! I cannot help but feel her modern history surely must be more fascinating than the banquet held in her honor for the last 3000 years. That she is at a feast in her garden in paradise and yet cries.

    Clearly the surface under the eye has been reworked in modern times to create the contradictory effect. She has no reason to cry for she is with her loved ones in the ellusian fields.

    Interesting, as I am working on an article on questionable pieces that entered European museum collections early in the 19th century and this appears to be one of them.

    Though with this little knowledge she may be an authentic piece that's been vandalized?


  2. Hi Timothy, thank you for your insights. Always appreciate it!

    What I like about these piece is that there is obvious more to tell about it than I initially thought. This is what I love about history, there is always some hidden story.

    I will be very interested in reading your article and looking forward to that!

    Thanks again!