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Relief of Montuhotep III

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Originally this massive limestone slab belonged to the wall of a chapel built for Montuhotep III at Armant. On the far left the king is depicted wearing a ceremonial beard and the Red Crown of Lower Egypt; on the far right he is seen in the royal headcloth. Between these two images we see the goddess Iunyt. The shrine’s decoration probably showed the Sed-festival, an ancient ritual of royal renewal traditionally held in the king’s thirtieth regnal year. Montuhotep III ruled for only twelve years, so the images probably indicate the king’s wish for a reign lasting at least three decades.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Reportedly From: Armant, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1957–1945 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 11
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 31 x 51 1/2 x 4 1/2 in., 470 lb. (78.7 x 130.8 x 11.4 cm, 213.19kg)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Wall in a chapel built for Montuhotep III at Armant, Egypt; before 1852, collected in Egypt by Henry Abbott of Cairo, Egypt and New York, NY; 1859, purchased from Henry Abbott by the New-York Historical Society, New York, NY; 1937, loaned by the New-York Historical Society to the Brooklyn Museum, 1937; 1948, purchased from the New-York Historical Society by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Portion of a limestone relief, pieced together from two fragments; to the left, facing left, is King Seankhkare, wearing the Red Crown and holding the flail and Mekesh. Before him: "King of U and L.E., Se-ankh-ka-re." Above him a falcon with outstretched wings grasps a shen sign. Below the vulture is "given life, stability and dominion forever. Behind the king's head are more inscriptions. To the right of the king is the goddess Wadjet who stands, facing right holding a was scepter. She wears a vulture headdress and a feathered garment. There is an inscription above her. Facing Wadjet is another representation of Seankhkare, in this case wearing a Nemes. Above him is another inscription. All figures are carved in a very low relief with subtle modeling and a great amount of minute detail. Condition: Mended from two fragments (the break runs across chest of goddess over through neck of Seankhkare with nemes). Much restoration along this break. Lower torso of king to left mostly chipped away; large chips in lower right. Upper portion of right side of slab has surface mostly chipped away; small chips and scratches scattered over surface.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Relief of Montuhotep III, ca. 1957–1945 B.C.E. Limestone, 31 x 51 1/2 x 4 1/2 in., 470 lb. (78.7 x 130.8 x 11.4 cm, 213.19kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.16E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.16E_version3_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.16E_version3_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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