Trial Piece Worked on Both Sides

Trial Piece Worked on Both Sides

c. 1391-1353 BC

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Limestone

Overall: 34.4 x 24 x 7 cm (13 9/16 x 9 7/16 x 2 3/4 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1920.1975.b

Location

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Trial pieces were a necessity of this busy building period because new styles were continually introduced and rapid training of apprentices was needed.

Description

This carved flake of limestone provides a fascinating glimpse of the ancient artist at work. The rather routine, basic subjects of this side show a far lower level of accomplishment than the other. The sole details of any skill are the incomplete head of the god Bes at the bottom center and the human ear at the left edge. The simple neb-signs (baskets) are poorly executed, and the drawing of the hand is embarrassingly bad. At the lower right is a thickly banded human eye. Above that is the fair head of a princess wearing a short wig, wide headband, and thick sidelock. At the upper left are the beginnings (or the remains) of the bewigged head of a courtier, the face mostly obliterated.

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