Large Bird with Foliage
6.25 x 6.38 x 2.5 inches
Probably from Egypt 200-500 CE
Picker Art Gallery
Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
The plant that encircles the bird draws the viewer's eye from the bottom left up to the top left corner and then to the bird’s head. Remarkably, the detail with which the plant has been carved is equal to that of the bird. Also noteworthy is the fact that the spatial relationship between the plant and the bird is somewhat ambiguous. Although the plant is apparently located behind the bird, insofar as it disappears behind the bird's head, elsewhere in the relief is appears to be as close to the foreground as the bird.
The block of stone is shaped such that it is straight on two sides and curved on two sides. This odd shape makes it difficult to discern what the original context of the relief was. It is also interesting to note that this relief has a large break running through the back of it.
Caroline Lee '13 is a Sociology Major and Art History Minor at Colgate University.