Ramesside head of a Noble Woman

This beautifully painted limestone head of a woman came from a tomb chapel niche dating from the Ramesside era, c. 1250–1070 B.C., 19th-20th Dynasty.

Not a singular statue, this Noblewoman would have been accompanying her husband, this statue would have represented the pair at their best; see her elaborate wig, lotus adorned headband and perfect lined eyes.

Ramesside head of a Noble Woman
Ramesside head of a Noble Woman. New Kingdom, 19th-20th Dynasty, c. 1250–1070 B.C.
Met Museum. 2018.50

These figures would be placed or carved into niches within the tomb in order to receive offerings from the living, both symbolic and actual, in order to sustain the dead during their endless future of eternity.

The head is a rare example of late Ramesside private statuary. With her elaborate wig and colorful floral fillet, the piece represents a woman of the elite, who was probably shown with her husband.

Their statues would have been carved into a niche in the tomb chapel, where family members and visitors could appreciate this lifelike art, give offerings, pronounce their names, and therefore contribute to their afterlife.

Ramesside head of a Noble Woman
This head of a Noble Woman was donated to the Met Museum, NYC, by Nanette B. Kelekian.

New Kingdom, 19th-20th Dynasty, ca. 1250-1070 BC. Now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2018.50