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Stela of Neferseku

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Temples and Tombs, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

The style of an object often provides insight into where it was made. On this stela, the offerings seem to float in the air and the arms of the female figure hang lifelessly at her sides—two unusual features. Recent research on these elements points to a provincial workshop near Asyut. The stone carvers in this area were far removed—both physically and aesthetically—from the artistic models of major cities.

MEDIUM Limestone, painted
  • Possible Place Collected: Asyut (vicinity), Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1844-1818 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XII Dynasty
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 13 3/4 x 14 in. (35 x 35.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Middle Eastern Art Council
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Stela of Neferseku, ca. 1844-1818 B.C.E. Limestone, painted, 13 3/4 x 14 in. (35 x 35.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Middle Eastern Art Council, 1990.15. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, CUR.1990.15_erg2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 11/26/2007
    "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 A funerary stela, on which, below four lines of inscription, the stela's owner stands at the left before an offering table surmounted by three jars, a trussed fowl, a khepesh-leg, and a leek. Facing him are four members of his family: a small male child, the owner's wife, another male child and a female child. The first two have a column of text behind them, and the latter two have a column of text above their heads. The hieroglyphs in the main text and in the single columns are all oriented to the right. The text is a simpe htp di nsw formula. No titles are given but the names listed are Nht (the small male child); Sbk htp (the wife); Sbk nht (the second made child); Idnw (the female child); Nfr skw (the owner). The molding on the right and left hand sides of the stela is broken. A vertical scar runs down the right side of the face of the stela. Although it appears to be restored, it is not. Sometraces of paint appear on the offerings and on the offering table as well as on the feet and legs of the owner and in places on the other figures. Traces of paint also appear along the base line.
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