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Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpare

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Cartonnage, a substance made of cloth or papyrus mixed with plaster and water, was used during the Third Intermediate Period to make an innermost case for the mummified body. The mummy was inserted and the covering was then painted with funerary scenes and inscriptions and placed in one or more coffins, which had been decorated in much the same way. The decoration here was chosen to associate its occupant, the priest Nespanetjerenpere, with divine resurrection. The ram-headed falcon on his chest represents the sun god's nightly journey through the land of the dead. The small figures on the front represent deities aligned with various parts of his body, as described in the funerary Book of the Dead.
MEDIUM Cartonnage, pigment, glass, lapis lazuli
  • Reportedly From: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 945–718 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 22
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 69 11/16 x 17 5/16 in. (177 x 44 cm) Height to top of beard: 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented; before 1934, acquired by the Scheurleer Museum, the Hague, the Netherlands; 1935, purchased from the Scheurleer Museum by the Fondation Egyptologique Reine Elisabeth; 1935, purchased from the Fondation Egyptologique Reine Elisabeth by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Cartonnage of the mummy of a Theban priest Nespanetjerenpare of the XII dynasty. The mummy is missing. The head is covered by a large wig symbolizing divinity along with the braided beard. The face is painted bright red with the eyebrows and outlines of the eyes of lapiz lazuli, the eyes being of glass. A pectoral is painted on the breast just above the large bull-headed bird covering the breast. On the balance of the cartonnage are painted religious scenes describes in detail in the January 1937 issue of the Brooklyn Museum Quarterly. Nespaneterenpare was a god-father of Amun, one of those priests who were free to enter the sanctuary. He had been a prophet of the fourth class of Amun of Karnak and also bore the special title of priest of Hermonthis. He was the son of Sin-a-Amun. If the latter was the father of the Thoutemes quoted in the celebrated inscription of Pinedjem II of Karnak, the date of the cartonnage would be the XXI Dynasty. Condition: the lower part of the upper half of the piece has been exposed to dampness and some of the hieroglyphs have been lost. The band running around the feet has split and the bottom of the case (soles of the feet) is missing. The balance of the painting is in almost pristine condition. The case is in the usual two pieces. Part of the underside of the case is missing.
    CAPTION Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpare, ca. 945–718 B.C.E. Cartonnage, pigment, glass, lapis lazuli, 69 11/16 x 17 5/16 in. (177 x 44 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 35.1265. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 35.1265_color_corrected_SL3.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 35.1265_color_corrected_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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