Fragment of wall painting from the tomb of Itet

Meydum, Egypt
4th Dynasty, around 2600 BC

Man holding duck

The mastaba of Itet was a joint tomb with her husband Nefermaat, a vizier in the reign of Sneferu. His tomb contained decoration in an unusual style, with the shapes deeply cut out and filled with paste. Itet's chapel, however, contained some of the earliest painted scenes known from Egypt. One painting, of geese, is in the Cairo Museum and is world-famous. The painting on the two British Museum fragments is of almost equal quality: this example shows a man holding a duck, and another pulling a rope which belongs to a clap-net (a net closed by pulling a string) for catching birds. The clarity of the colours and the skill of the draughtsman, particularly in the details of the feathers, is outstanding.

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W.M.F. Petrie, Medum (London, D. Nutt, 1892)

A.J. Spencer, Early Egypt, The rise of civil (London, The British Museum Press, 1993)


Length: 59.000 cm (max.)
Width: 28.000 cm (max.)

Museum number

EA 69014


Transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum


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