Woman with child on lap

This small limestone figurine of a woman holding a male child on her lap is only 4cm in height and dates from around 1550–1450 B.C, making it a product of the 18th Dynasty and New Kingdom era of Ancient Egypt.

This little figure is a rather unique piece, as usually the bond between a child and mother, when often depicted in sculpture form, showcases either suckling, or a child figure sat upon the lap of the mother figure in the role of goddess Isis.

Statue of a woman with child on lap. Met Museum. 44.4.64
Met Museum. 44.4.64

This figurine, however, shows a little boy child laying limp upon the mother’s lap, he is either at rest or has possibly even succumbed to death. We can see the mother figure has her hand upon the centre of her chest, possibly the heart region, which could indicate mourning.

It is unknown what the exact meaning behind this little figure represents, the Met Museum sadly offers us no insight to where exactly in Egypt the piece was discovered either. For now, it is up to the viewer to decide what he or she reads into this statuette.

The limp body of the child lays upon his mother's lap. Met Museum. 44.4.64
The limp body of the child lays upon his mother’s lap. Met Museum. 44.4.64

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, c. 1550–1450 B.C
Now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 44.4.64