Scribe and Treasurer, Sety
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
This statue of Sety, a scribe and superintendent of the treasury, is an early example of a non-royal person shown kneeling. The figure’s pose, the obeliskshaped back pillar (a solar symbol), and the inscribed prayer to the sun-god Re indicate that the statue was set into a niche above Sety’s tomb, facing east to greet the sunrise.
Later kneeling figures of this type often hold a stela inscribed with a prayer, eliminating the need for clumsy stone bridges like the ones that reinforce the hands in this work.
ca. 1479-1458 B.C.E.
13 × 4 × 7 1/2 in., 10.5 lb. (33 × 10.2 × 19.1 cm, 4.76kg) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Kneeling statue of a scribe who raised his hands in worship. Wig is of the MK type but without striations. Overall archaic appearance due to the shape of the eyes, square beard, and stone fill-ins between the upper arms and the raised hands. Sety's garment ends below the knees and is covered in deeply cut inscriptions. Another line of inscription on the base is mostly lost.
Condition: Left arm is missing from the level of the elbow. The nose is chipped and the right eye and brow are damaged. The left corner of the base is missing in the front and the right front corner is chipped. The right front chip has carried away part of the inscription. The back pillar is chipped in numerous spots. The paint layer is sound, the skin being a nice reddish brown. The hieroglyphs still retain their red paint. Discoloration is found on the left side of the skirt.
This item is not on view
Scribe and Treasurer, Sety, ca. 1479-1458 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 13 × 4 × 7 1/2 in., 10.5 lb. (33 × 10.2 × 19.1 cm, 4.76kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.263E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 37.263E_threequarter_PS9.jpg)
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Why are officials presented as kneeling?
This statue is in the pose of praising or worshipping. Oftentimes these sculptures were created by officials to stay in a temple as their placeholder and participate in ceremonies and rituals for them. Think of it as having a statue sit in for you at church. Only people with a good amount of money (like officials) could afford these sort of things.