I was pleased that almost
half of those who took the
quiz guessed correctly that
  the very crude Funerary
  Stela with Ma...
Almost half also guessed
correctly that the Stela with
 a Boy Standing in a Niche
   is only partly ancient,
 having a hea...
But the Figure of a Man in
 High Relief fooled a lot of
    people, though his
     nonfrontal pose is
 definitely not anci...
Most everyone recognized
   that Hercules Smiting
Acheloos in the Form of a
 Bull was ancient. Like the
 subject, his pose...
But the Scroll with Human Figure and Lion Head, which is
partly recarved and therefore partly a forgery, fooled a lot
    ...
This is the one case where
 I think it might have been
useful if details could have
been enlarged, so that one
   could ha...
On the other hand, most of
 those who took the quiz
 recognized the Paralytic
    Raising His Bed as a
   forgery, which r...
That the Top of an Arch
with a Nymph Riding a Sea
  Monster is ancient was
  recognized by most of
those who took the quiz...
And a fair number realized
 that Fragment of a Frieze
  with Leda and the Swan
  was ancient but a little
     recarved an...
As for our Standing
  Woman, her front is all
wrong: that hair! those big
  eyes! the way the dress
folds—or are they plea...
The only thing good about
her front is that it's not as
     bad as the back!




Standing Woman. Limestone, remains of pa...
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Coptic 4

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  • Coptic 4

    1. 1. I was pleased that almost half of those who took the quiz guessed correctly that the very crude Funerary Stela with Male Figure in the nude is ancient. Funerary Stela with Male Figure. Limestone, traces of white (underpainting?), red pigment; Egypt, exact provenance unknown; ca. 500-600 A.D., or later; Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 40.301
    2. 2. Almost half also guessed correctly that the Stela with a Boy Standing in a Niche is only partly ancient, having a heavily recut and repainted head. Funerary Stela with a Boy Standing in a Niche. Limestone, paint; From Oxyrhynchus; 3rd-5th Century A.D. with modern revisions. Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 58.129
    3. 3. But the Figure of a Man in High Relief fooled a lot of people, though his nonfrontal pose is definitely not ancient nor are his very unrealistic hair and—what I did not mention—his big, staring eyes. That type of hair and those kinds of eyes are found on almost all of the forgeries. Figure of a Man in High Relief. Limestone, paint; Provenance unknown; 20th Century A.D. Gift of Mr. And Mrs. Harry Kahn, 72.9
    4. 4. Most everyone recognized that Hercules Smiting Acheloos in the Form of a Bull was ancient. Like the subject, his pose and his nudity are purely classical, though rather unsophisticated and provincial in their forms. Heracles Smiting Acheloos in the Form of a Bull. Limestone; from Oxyrhynchus; ca. 300-500 A.D. Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 61.128
    5. 5. But the Scroll with Human Figure and Lion Head, which is partly recarved and therefore partly a forgery, fooled a lot of people. Recarved Plant Scroll with Human Figure and Lion Head. Limestone; said to be from Behnasa: ancient relief recut in the 20th Century, A.D. Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 67.176.2
    6. 6. This is the one case where I think it might have been useful if details could have been enlarged, so that one could have seen clearly how much empty space there is, how very oddly the man is posed, and how hopelessly bad the lion's head is, quite apart from the fact that animals on these reliefs are always shown complete. Recarved Plant Scroll with Human Figure and Lion Head (Detail). Limestone; said to be from Behnasa: ancient relief recut in the 20th Century, A.D.
    7. 7. On the other hand, most of those who took the quiz recognized the Paralytic Raising His Bed as a forgery, which rather surprised me, because the quality of this work by a modern stone carver is almost as good, I think, as the best of the ancient examples! Paralytic Raising His Bed. Limestone, painted; said to be from Sheikh Ibada; probably 20th Century
    8. 8. That the Top of an Arch with a Nymph Riding a Sea Monster is ancient was recognized by most of those who took the quiz— was that because we used an old black and white photo? I do think she is so cute, the way she holds down her skirt with one hand and pets her monster with the other. Top of an Arch with a Nymph Riding a Sea Monster. Limestone, traces of paint; from Herakleopolis Magna; 5th-6th Century A.D. Charles Edwin
    9. 9. And a fair number realized that Fragment of a Frieze with Leda and the Swan was ancient but a little recarved and a lot repainted. Fragment of a Frieze: Leda and the Swan. Limestone, ancient and modern paint; from Egypt, exact provenance unknown; 4th -5th Century A.D., with 20th Century Alterations. Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 55.2.1
    10. 10. As for our Standing Woman, her front is all wrong: that hair! those big eyes! the way the dress folds—or are they pleats?— go up the arms and down the body. Standing Woman. Limestone, remains of paint; said to be from Sheikh Ibada; probably 20th Century A.D. Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 63.36
    11. 11. The only thing good about her front is that it's not as bad as the back! Standing Woman. Limestone, remains of paint; said to be from Sheikh Ibada; probably 20th Century A.D. Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 63.36

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