Exhibitions: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity

Kneeling Statue of Senenmut

Senenmut, a powerful official of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut, commissioned at least twenty-five statues of himself. This innovative statue type, which shows him holding a divine symbol, was offered to Montu, the god of Armant, in petition for Hatshepsut's well-being and his own eternal reward. The image, which depicts a cobra resting on a pair of upraised arms and crowned with a cow's horns and a sun disk, is identified in the inscription as Renenutet, a goddess of harvest and nourishment. However, it can also be read as a cryptogram for Maatkara, Hatshepsut's throne name—a visual pun made possible by the close relationship between Egyptian hieroglyphic writing and art.