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Block Statue of a High Official

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Wealthy men like the official represented here, called Nesthoth, could commission statues carved from a rare hard stone like diorite. Since the Egyptians believed that after a person died their soul could inhabit a statue, commissioning such images for the temple allowed one to be perpetually present during temple processions and behold the image of the temple god. The slight tilt of Nesthoth’s head suggests the attitude of a pious man looking up at the divine procession.
MEDIUM Diorite
  • Possible Place Made: Thebes (Karnak), Egypt
  • DATES 305–30 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 15 3/8 x 6 9/16 x 7 7/8 in., 42.5 lb. (39 x 16.7 x 20 cm, 19.28kg)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Black diorite statue inscribed for a man named Djehuty-nes. Djehuty-nes wears a plain, heavy wig, and a short beard. In each hand he holds the sign for life. His nose is fairly straight and his eyebrows are horizontal. Eyebrows, upper eyelid rims and cosmetic lines are executed in relief. Carved in sunk relief, in that portion of the robe which covered the front of the figure’s legs, is a frontal representation of a baboon crowned with a sun-disk supported by a half-moon. The figure rests upon a base which is rounded in the front. In the rear, a back pillar rises from the base up to the bottom edge of the wig. The back pillar is decorated with two columns of inscription, and a single line of inscription runs around the base. The hieroglyphs, which are only roughly pecked-out, are apparently unfinished. A fault or vein in the stone, appearing as a whitish line, runs around the figure passing through the head on the rear and left side. Condition: Large chips in the front of the base; smaller chips in the other sides of the base. Smaller chips here and there. The piece has been scratched, especially on the rear. Incrusted dirt here and there, mostly on the front of the figure.
    CAPTION Block Statue of a High Official, 305–30 B.C.E. Diorite, 15 3/8 x 6 9/16 x 7 7/8 in., 42.5 lb. (39 x 16.7 x 20 cm, 19.28kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 69.115.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 69.115.1_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 69.115.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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