Figure of a boy - ROM2018_16149_3


Figure of a boy

Medium:Sandstone, carved and painted
Geography: Egypt
Date: c. 1295-1186 BC
Period: 19th Dynasty, Ramesside Period, New Kingdom
30 × 27.5 × 18.9 cm
Object number: 909.80.608
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

This small broken image deserves a second look.

 Three thousand years ago, it t was made to commemorate the life of a boy.  His pleasant, eager face looks up at us.  He was shown wearing his finest white pleated tunic, a collar of colourful  beads, a splendid wig, and a fillet of flowers around as his head, as though he were dressed up for a party.  Though the statue is much worn and broken, there is enough left of its colour and charm to raise curiosity about this boy.  How old was he when he was taken from his family for that Journey to the West?  Was he in life, as he appears, a cheerful, healthy child until the fatal illness or accident?  Did he ever really own or wear such a fancy outfit, or were these funerary garments meant to give him status in the Afterlife?  His name is lost to us, though remains of a back pillar with a now illegible inscription can be seen behind his head. The shape of this back pillar, and its position, slightly off-centre, suggests that this was once part of a pair statue.  Perhaps he originally had the company of a parent or sibling.  Such a statue would probably have been set up in a tomb chapel, so that the family would remember their lost boy, visit with him, and bring him offerings.


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