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Lady Tjepu

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
One of the most remarkable paintings to survive from ancient Egypt, this depiction of the noblewoman Tjepu came from a tomb built for her son Nebamun and a man named Ipuky. Egyptian artists usually did not depict individuals as they truly looked, but rather as eternally youthful, lavishly dressed, and in an attitude of repose.

Tjepu was about forty years old when this painting was executed, but she is shown in what was the height of youthful fashion during the reign of Amunhotep III: a perfumed cone on her heavy wig, a delicate side tress, and a semitransparent, fringed linen dress.
MEDIUM Limestone, gessoed and painted
  • Place Excavated: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1390-1353 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XVIII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 14 13/16 x 9 7/16 in. (37.6 x 24 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 65.197
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Lady Tjepu, ca. 1390-1353 B.C.E. Limestone, gessoed and painted, 14 13/16 x 9 7/16 in. (37.6 x 24 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 65.197
    IMAGE overall, 65.197_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Fragmentary painting on whitewash over mudplaster of the upper part of a female figure identified through the remains of a text above the back of her head as Thepu, mother of Nebamun of Thebes. She has an ointment cone on her head; one arm is raised, the other hand holds a menat. The hair is black; she wears over an undergarment a white diaphanous shawl which leaves one breast bare. Outline irregular.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (81%)
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