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HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Ptolemaic Period : Ptolemaic Period Two-Sided Limestone Plaque
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Ptolemaic Period Two-Sided Limestone Plaque - X.0009
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 3 rd Century BC to 2 nd Century BC
Dimensions: 5.125" (13.0cm) high
Collection: Egyptian
Medium: Limestone


Location: United States
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Description
This limestone plaque depicts a man facing right on both sides. On one side, only the top part of the figure's head is extant; he wears a crown with a prominent uraeus. The other side is more roughly carved and is oriented at a 90-degree angle to side A. Here the head and shoulders of a man wearing a skullcap are represented. Although traditionally called sculptors' models or trial pieces, some scholars have suggested that these objects were in fact ex-votos. Although traditionally called sculptors' models or trial pieces, some scholars have suggested that these objects were in fact ex-votos. Otherwise, it is believed that such works functioned as aids for apprentices to learn the art of sculpting step by step before embarking upon royal commissions where one mistake could mean disaster. Similar plaques were unearthed in what are thought to have been artist workshops, thus their identification as models. It would be unlikely that a wall panel would have been carved on both sides. Perhaps the difference in the surfaces of the two sides served to alert students how a work looks while in progress on one side and once completed on the other. Today, these plaques give us unique insight into the creative process behind some of the most endearing and enduring artworks ever created by mankind. - (X.0009)

 

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