15: A Large Egyptian Polychrome Wood Coffin Mask
Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, ca. 500 - 200 BC. Oversized carved, painted terracotta-colored face from a coffin lid; displays wide, flatly defined eyes, a slender aquiline nose with slight anatomical detail, and small, plump, pursed lips. The long, slightly arched eyebrows over heavy eyelids, outline for the eyes, and the clear, circular pupils against painted white eyeballs, are drawn in black paint. Painted above the forehead is a brown band trimming a plain black wig. At one time the face may have had well defined ears, now missing, and possibly a chin beard. wood core is overlaid with a thinly applied layer of gesso. Gesso, a mixture of whiting and glue, when skillfully applied provides a good, smooth painting ground for artisans, particularly when working on wood. On the upper forehead and wig areas are wood plugs, one above the proper right and left eyebrows and one of mud to the right of center on the wig. Mask itself measures 16"H x 12"W x 4"D, with frame 24"W x 27"H x 3-1/2"D.
Provenance: Ex-private Ohio Collection acquired in the mid-1960s.
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