Raised Relief of Montuemhat(?)
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
As perhaps the most powerful official of his time in southern Egypt, Montuemhat had one of the largest and most lavishly decorated nonroyal tombs known. Although this relief is probably of the man himself, it is not a portrait. Rather, It is an idealizing, archalzing image reflecting the style of Theban works of Dynasty XVIII and possibly also the Middle Kingdom. The fortuitous blackening of the relief's surface is the result of a burning of unknown date.
ca. 670-650 B.C.E.
late Dynasty 25 to early Dynasty 26
Late Third Intermediate Period to early Late Period
Bequest of Mrs. Carl L. Selden
Raised relief in limestone. Upper half of a figure of a nobleman facing right. The figure wears a plain wig and broad-collar necklace. His far hand is raised to his chest and holds a floral scepter (partially preserved). His near arm is extended forwards and downwards, and his missing near hand held an object (staff?) of which is preserved below the far forearm.
Condition: Far elbow missing. Large chips in near forearm and before and behind head. Numerous long cracks, and much of the surface blackened by smoke. Object is set in plaster frame.
Egyptian. Raised Relief of Montuemhat(?), ca. 670-650 B.C.E. Limestone, 14 15/16 x 12 in. (38 x 30.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Mrs. Carl L. Selden, 1996.146.3. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1996.146.3_SL1.jpg)
overall, 1996.146.3_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Why is this ombré? Was it to do with fire of some sort?
Yes, it's been blackened by smoke, though the date of the fire is unknown.
We think this choice to pair fragments together is rather contemporary!
Elaborate! What makes you say that?
As in pairing fragments together for aesthetic reasons that don't necessarily belong together in a linear sense is a contemporary move, especially when the early Egyptian works are pretty abstract/stylized anyway. It looks like a diptych or triptych.
Interesting observation. I'd have to agree with you, the fragments aren't attempting to complete each other. But also the fragmentation of the body and the erasure of narrative is such a contemporary thought as well. The connection between these objects is that they all come from the time of the 26th Dynasty and many of them likely come from the same tomb. It's interesting to apply more contemporary ideas to the antiquities. I tend to think of the Egyptian depiction of the body as sort of proto-cubist, in the way that many sides of the same object are shown simultaneously.