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Amunhotep I and Ahmose-Nofretary before Osiris

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Occasionally an Egyptian artist rendered personalities from the distant past in an updated style. This stela shows the early Eighteenth Dynasty king Amunhotep I (circa 1514–1493 B.C.E.) and his mother, Ahmose-Nofretary, making an offering to Osiris, god of the dead, on behalf of a man named Nebamun. Despite the presence of Amunhotep I, the work does not date to his reign. The slanted, almond-shaped eyes, short, upturned noses, and sharply modeled outlines of the figures all characterize art from the time of Amunhotep III.

By commissioning this stela, Nebamun, whose image is now broken away, was calling on two long-dead members of the royal house to help him gain immortality.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment (Egyptian blue, indigo)
  • Reportedly From: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1390-1352 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 11 1/2 × 11 × 3 3/4 in., 22.5 lb. (29.2 × 27.9 × 9.5 cm, 10.21kg)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, possibly from Thebes, Egypt; by 1852, acquired in Egypt by Henry Abbott; 1859, purchased from Henry Abbott by the New-York Historical Society, New York, NY; 1937, loaned from the New-York Historical Society to the Brooklyn Museum; September 1948, purchased from the New-York Historical Society by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Upper part of a round-topped stela of limestone. Represented in shallow sunk relief, are seated Osiris, facing right, and Amenhotep I with his mother Ahmose-nefertiri both facing Osiris. The stela appears to have been dedicated by one Nebamun.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Amunhotep I and Ahmose-Nofretary before Osiris, ca. 1390-1352 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment (Egyptian blue, indigo), 11 1/2 × 11 × 3 3/4 in., 22.5 lb. (29.2 × 27.9 × 9.5 cm, 10.21kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1485E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 37.1485E_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1485E_PS9.jpg., 2019
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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