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Stela with Sculptor’s “Signature”

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Funerary Gallery 2, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Unlike nearly every other work of ancient Egyptian art, this stela is signed by the artist. The deeply cut inscription beneath the lower register names “the sculptor Nefertem.” He was probably allowed to add his name as compensation for his work, thus perpetuating his memory for eternity.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Reportedly From: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1836–1759 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 12
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 20 1/4 x 12 3/16 x 3 7/16 in., 40.5 lb. (51.5 x 31 x 8.8 cm, 18.37kg)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Rectangular funerary stela. At the top is a cavetto cornice: at the top and sides are heavy rounded moldings which frame a field decorated with two registers of figures accompanied by inscriptions. In the top register are shown the owner of the stela, a man named Henu, and his son Ptah-wenef facing each other across a table of offerings. In the second register two female relatives Ty-neter-ny and Neferu are also shown facing each other across a table. Below this register, in the relatively large empty space between the second register and the bottom of the stela, is inscribed. Condition: Irregular sawing; some chips in edges. Surface dirty.
    CAPTION Stela with Sculptor’s “Signature”, ca. 1836–1759 B.C.E. Limestone, 20 1/4 x 12 3/16 x 3 7/16 in., 40.5 lb. (51.5 x 31 x 8.8 cm, 18.37kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1347E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1347E_view1_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1347E_view1_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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