Figurine of the Goddess Wadjet

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Figurine of the Goddess Wadjet

Egypt, 26th Dynasty, circa 664-525 BCE
Sculpture
Bronze
Height: 13 in. (33 cm)
William Randolph Hearst Collection (50.37.14)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

This elegant, striding bronze figure represents the goddess Wadjet, protectress of the king and tutelary deity of Lower Egypt....
This elegant, striding bronze figure represents the goddess Wadjet, protectress of the king and tutelary deity of Lower Egypt. One of several Egyptian goddesses depicted with the head of a lioness, Wadjet is identified in this example by the dedicatory inscription on the rectangular base. The preserved portion of the text also includes part of the donor's name and parentage. This figure probably was dedicated as an offering in a temple, and in addition may have served as a container for the remains of a sacred animal. The figure is remarkably intact, displaying the full sun disc, uraeus (the sacred cobra on the headdress), inscribed base, and the tangs that attached the statuette to an ancient pedestal or other support. As in most similar examples, the attributes originally held by the hands, probably a papyrus scepter in the proper left hand and an ankh in the right, are now lost. Narrow-waisted, the human figure is treated in an exceptionally refined and supple manner, with contours of the breasts, abdomen, and thighs clearly visible beneath the thin garment. Incised details such as the patterning of the lion mane, broad collar, armbands, and bracelets are carefully rendered. Technically proficient and formally sophisticated Late Period votive bronzes such as this example are generally attributed by scholars to the 26th Dynasty, although precise dating within the Late Period is difficult due to lack of stylistic variation and the omission of titles or references to royalty in the brief inscriptions.
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Bibliography

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art Members' Calendar 1988,  vol. 25-26, no. 12-1 (December, 1987-January, 1989).
  • Price, Lorna.  Masterpieces from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Los Angeles:  Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1988.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art Members' Calendar 1988,  vol. 25-26, no. 12-1 (December, 1987-January, 1989).
  • Price, Lorna.  Masterpieces from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Los Angeles:  Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1988.
  • Levkoff, Mary L.. Hearst the collector. New York: Abrams and Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2008.
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