Height: 72.500 cm
Acquired in 1906
Ancient Egypt and Sudan
Granite statue of Senmut holding Princess Neferure
From the temple of Amun, Karnak, Thebes,
18th Dynasty, around 1470 BC
The most important official of the reign of Hatshepsut
Senmut was born of relatively humble parents, but rose to high office in the reign of Hatshepsut (1491-1479 BC) and was probably her most trusted official. Here he is shown holding the Princess Neferure, her only daughter.
Senmut entered royal service in the reign of Thutmose II (1492-1479 BC), who was married to Hatshepsut, his half-sister. The couple had no male heir, and Thutmose II's only son and heir, Thutmose III, was the son of a lesser wife. On Thutmose's death, Hatshepsut was appointed regent for her young nephew, and later took on full royal titles as pharaoh.
There has been much speculation about Senmut's role during Hatshepsut's reign. By the time that Hatshepsut became regent, Senmut was Neferure's tutor. He had made at least seven statues of himself with Neferure, and this is one of the finest.
Senmut is shown
with his robe wrapped around the princess, emphasizing the close
connection between them. He clearly saw his role as tutor as very
important, and his success must have played a part in the
subsequent favour he enjoyed when Hatshepsut became
T.G.H. James, 'Le prétendu "sanctuaire de Karnak" selon Budge', Bulletin de la société françai, 75 (1976), pp. 7-30
T.G.H. James and W.V. Davies, Egyptian sculpture (London, The British Museum Press, 1983)
C. Meyer, Senenmut. Eine prosopographisc (Hamburg, Borg, 1981)
E.R. Russmann, Eternal Egypt: masterworks of (University of California Press, 2001)
P.F. Dorman, The monuments of Senenmut (London, 1988)