Limestone block-statue of Inebny: the sculptor's clearly appreciated how the simple, broad planes of the cloaked form focused attention on the face; here, the effect has been dramatized by unusually sparing use of paint. The pose conveys humility, making it appropriate for a temple setting, and the shape offers large surfaces for inscription. Inebny's statue is striking for its use of colour, which draws attention to its two most important elements: the inscription, filled in with blue, and the head, on which the hair, eyes, and brows are painted black. The treatment of the eyes is particularly noteworthy because they appear as brown rather than the usual black. This effect was achieved by applying an initial layer of red paint that was then covered with black. The triangular shape of the face, with its wide-open eyes and arching brows, is typical of the period.
- Found/Acquired: Thebes
- (Africa,Egypt,Upper Egypt,Thebes (Upper Egypt - archaic))
- Height: 51.5 centimetres
- Depth: 44.5 millimetres
- Width: 29 centimetres
- Weight: 100 kilograms
Inscription TranslationTitles/epithets include : King's Son
Titles/epithets include : Good God, Lord of Action, Menkheperre
Titles/epithets include : Good Goddess, Lady of the Two Lands, Maatkare
Inscription CommentIncised. The hieroglyphic text includes the erased cartouche of Hatshepsut and the non-erased one of Thutmose III. The text is invocatory and asks for offerings and privileges in the Other World from Amun-Ra.
This block statue was probably a temple sculpture made to allow its owner to benefit from temple festivals and receive offerings in perpetuity in the afterlife.
Inebny served as a troop commander and overseer of weaponry during the joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. He also had the title King's Son, which has led to the suggestion that he served as viceroy of Kush, but this cannot be verified. He certainly campaigned in Nubia, however, for his inscription states that he "followed his lord" on expeditions into the foreign lands both south and north of Egypt.
The statue was dedicated to Inebny by both Hatshepsut and Thutmose III, whose names appear in the first and second lines of the inscription. In the text, Hatshepsut's royal epithets are given feminine gender, "the Good Goddess, Lady of the Two Lands, Maatkare," and Thutmose is called "her brother, the Good God, Lord of Action, Menkheperre." As one would expect, at some later time the cartouche of Hatshepsut was erased by the agents of Thutmose III; however, the feminine epithets were left. The fact that the statue itself survives unharmed suggests that Inebny had done nothing to incur the wrath of Thutmose, unlike some of Hatshepsut's officials, whose monuments were destroyed.
B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' I (2) (Oxford, 1964), p. 788;
R. Schulz, ‘Die Entwicklung und Bedeutung des kuboiden Statuentypus’ Vol. I ‘Hildesheimer Äyyptologische Beiträge’ 33, no. 219, pp.379-380; Vol. II ‘Hildesheimer Äyyptologische Beiträge’ 34, pl. 134c;
'Egyptian Treasures' [exhibition catalogue] (Shanghai, 1999), 40-41 No 4; The British Museum, 'Hieroglyphic texts from Egyptian stelae, etc., in the British Museum ' Part 5 (London, 1914), pl. 34.
C. Roehrig, Hatshepsut, from queen to pharaoh, New York 2005, 56-57.
Not on display
Exhibited: 1990 20 Oct-9 Dec, Japan, Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.56 1991 5 Jan-20 Feb, Japan, Yamaguchi, Prefectural Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.56 1991 9 Mar-7 May, Japan, Osaka, National Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.56 2005 15 Oct-2006 29 Jan, San Francisco, M H Young Memorial Museum, Hatshepsut 2006 20 Mar-9 Jul, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hatshepsut 2006 26 Aug-10 Dec, Fort Worth, Kimbell Museum of Art, Hatshepsut 2011 Jul–Sept, Newcastle, Great North Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt 2012 Oct–Jan, Dorchester, Dorset County Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt 2012 Feb–June, Leeds City Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt 2012 Jul-Oct, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Pharaoh: King of Egypt 2012 Nov– 2013 Feb, Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt 2013 Mar–Aug, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery , Pharaoh: King of Egypt
11 May 1998
Reason for treatment
Improve Appearance , A
There is a break line running across under the nose, across the face and over the back of the head. The section has been readhered at an earlier date and appears to be holding. The object has a dirt layer which is increased around the sides where it has been handled. The Egyptian blue pigment in the hieroglyphics is fugitive.There are areas of black pigment in some hieroglyphics which are also fugitive. The area of black pigment around the break line on the top of the head is is also coming away in spots.
The fugitive pigments were consolidated with polyvinyl butryal at 2.5% in Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone)/Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) 50/50. This was applied twice over a period of hours with a dropper. There is some evidence that the Egyptian blue remains fugitive in one or two places; it was decided not to further consolidate for fear of dicolouration. The surface of the statue was cleaned with Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) as cleaning with water or saliva resulted in loss of the white pigment. Heavy handling dirt was removed with saliva followed by Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone) and finally Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) in these three layers so that any remaining white pigment underneath the dirt layer was saved. The break line on the head was investigated with a metal detector to see if there was a dowel present, there did not appear to be one. The break line was cleaned with Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) and the area of the line retouched with Rowney's Cryla colours (acrylic).
Lot 1114 at sale.
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
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Object reference number: YCA61144
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