Relief Blocks from the Tomb of the Vizier Nespeqashuty
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Funerary Gallery 3, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Tomb reliefs magically repeated the rituals required to transport the deceased to the afterlife and maintain him or her once there. The wealthier the individual, the more elaborate the decoration of the tomb. Nespeqashuty was a vizier, the highest ranking government official.
The decoration of Nespeqashuty’s tomb was never completed, allowing a rare glimpse into the artist’s working process. The three steps of relief carving are clearly visible here. First, each scene was drawn in color with attention paid to every detail. Next, the outline of each figure was carved and the background cut away. Finally, another carving of the figures softened the contour lines and sculpted the internal details.
The graffiti on the relief were written in both Demotic and Coptic, the two latest stages of the Egyptian language, as well as in Greek, during a thousand-year period after the tomb was prepared for Nespeqashuty. Writing graffiti in the tomb was a pious act, not vandalism.
ca. 664-610 B.C.E.
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Relief Blocks from the Tomb of the Vizier Nespeqashuty, ca. 664-610 B.C.E. Limestone, 13 5/8 x 22 in. (34.6 x 55.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 52.131.3. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 52.131.3_SL1.jpg)
overall, 52.131.3_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.