The Statuette Of A Hippo Or: Metropolitan Museum Of Art

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The Statuette of a Hippo or, as the Metropolitan Museum of Art calls it, William, is an Egyptian relic from the late Middle Kingdom (1981-1885 B.C.). As it says in the title it is a statue of a Hippopotamus, and is cast in faience material. This is a work of art because it affords a viewer the opportunity to learn more about ancient Egyptians, has great aesthetic value, and is commercially valuable. William is art because it shows the observer a cultural symbol behind the ancient Egyptian world. The cultural significance of William is as a force of nature that the Egyptians venerated. For example, many gods and goddesses were depicted as hippos. However, William is no god. When this statuette was found in the tomb chapel of Senbi II at Meir three of the four legs were broken off. Scholars suspect that someone at Meir did this to forbid the creature from wounding the departed in the underworld. This had to be done because ancient Egyptians imagined that depictions could come to life magically, and so by sympathetic magic, the hippos of the underworld could not harm the deceased. The Egyptians went through great lengths to make protective objects.…show more content…
It is made of faience, a ceramic material that is akin to glass and is luminescent. On the hippo there are outlines of marsh plants. The details of the plants are simple, yet they get the point across that they are plants in the marshland of Egypt. The eye-catching turquoise color allows the black drawings of the marsh plants to stand out. In addition, this piece is ironic because it is so beautiful and charming, but it is a hippo and hippos are known for being viscous animals. The overall piece has beauty and is balanced throughout. It follows form and is deceptively

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