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The reliefs we present today were created during the reign of the last dynasty of Egypt, the Greek (actually Macedonian) Ptolemaic dynasty. That’s right, the famous Cleopatra was the last ruler of this dynasty.
Reliefs or sculptures like the ones you see today depict a subject in a partial or unfinished way, but the work itself is finished, which is unique to Egyptian art. Perhaps their work was like a guide for artists aiming to create sculpture for which there was no suitable model in traditional formal Egyptian artistic expression. The Ptolemys ruled Egypt for over 300 years; they followed Egyptian rules of depiction, but at the same time they reflected a Greek atmosphere in their art. These sculptures and reliefs are also sometimes referred to by Egyptologists as “sculptor’s models” or “votive objects” because they may have been material for donations and perhaps related to temple architecture. Unfortunately, we know very little about the mechanics of this donation activity.
But the owl itself is really beautiful!
Side note: Ancient Egyptian art isn’t just about mummies and pyramids, it’s so much more! Come and enjoy the fascinating story of ancient Egypt and gold jewelry . <3
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10.3 x 11.1 x 2.5 cm
Ancient Egyptian art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
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