The 'Lady of Brussels'

Statue of a Standing Woman ('Lady of Brussels')
Egypt
Early dynastic, about 2700 BCE
Limestone; H. 74.5 cm

This exceptionnal statue of a woman, often referred to in the literature as the 'Lady of Brussels', is one of the oldest examples of an Egyptian stone sculpture of a private individual. The archaic treatment of the forms, including among other features the virtual absence of a neck, allow us to date it to the late 2nd dynasty. The lady is wearing a heavy, finely braided wig and a long low-necked dress that reveals the shape of the body.

Although the origin of this statue is unknown, it is no doubt a funerary sculpture from a necropolis near the capital, perhaps Saqqara. It is surprising that this woman of the elite class is presented alone rather than beside her husband.

In 2012, the 'Lady of Brussels' was completely restored by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage. She has now regained her former elegance.

Discover this masterpiece in our Egyptian collection, on the online museum catalogue Carmentis  and in the book Masterpieces of the Cinquantenaire Museum.