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Kneeling Statue of Senenmut

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
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.
MEDIUM Granite
  • Place Found: Armant, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1478-1458 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XVIII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 18 9/16 x 6 7/8 x 9 7/16 in. (47.2 x 17.4 x 23.9 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 67.68
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Kneeling Statue of Senenmut, ca. 1478-1458 B.C.E. Granite, 18 9/16 x 6 7/8 x 9 7/16 in. (47.2 x 17.4 x 23.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 67.68. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 67.68_bw_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.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Kneeling statue in dark grey granite representing Senenmut proferring symbol composed of the "ka" hieroglyph surmounted by a cobra with cow horns and sun disk, the whole forming a rebus of the name Makara, that of Hatshepsut. Senenmut wears a wide striated wig covering his shoulders, a short beard, and a kilt from the waist to just above the ankles. One line of text round base, one line on top of base left side, front, right side; three columns of text on back-pillar which ends on triangular top inclined toward back of Senemut's head. One column on left side of back pillar and one column on right side; cartouche of Makara on right upper arm. Condition: Figure perfect, but inscription shows erasures and slight damage in several places. Base chipped.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (83%)
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