Nebamun’s garden, fragment of a scene from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun

Thebes, Egypt
Late 18th Dynasty, around 1350 BC

A garden scene and a symbol of new life

Nebamun’s garden in the afterlife is not unlike the earthly gardens of wealthy Egyptians. The pool is full of birds and fish, and surrounded by borders of flowers and shady rows of trees. The fruit trees include sycomore-figs, date-palms and dom-palms – the dates are shown with different degrees of ripeness.

On the right of the pool a goddess leans out of a tree and offers fruit and drinks to Nebamun (now lost). The artists accidentally painted her skin red at first but then repainted it yellow, the correct colour for a goddess’ skin. On the left, a sycomore-fig tree speaks and greets Nebamun as the owner of the garden,  its words are recorded in the hieroglyphs.

The pool is shown from above, with three rows of trees arranged around its edges. The waves of the pool were painted with a darker blue pigment; much of this has been lost, like the green on the trees and bushes.

M. Hooper, The Tomb of Nebamun (London, British Museum Press, 2007)

R. Parkinson, The painted Tomb-chapel of Nebamun. (London, British Museum Press, 2008)

A. Middleton and K. Uprichard, (eds.), The Nebamun Wall Paintings: Conservation, Scientific Analysis and Display at the British Museum (London, Archetype, 2008)

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More information

Bibliography

Dimensions

Height: 64.000 cm (max.)

Museum number

EA 37983

YCA67996

Salt Collection

Location

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