Ancient Egypt art, statues of isis, Kaper, and Seneb

Ancient Egypt art

You can find here some wonderful statues about ancient Egypt art, which are 3 beautiful artifacts, belong to the Old Kingdom.

Group statue of the dwarf Seneb and family

Ancient Egypt art, statue of Seneb
Egyptian art, the statue of Seneb

It was discovered in 1926 by Junker in the tomb of Seneb at Giza.

It was found inside a naos in the Serdab of Seneb’s tomb and this naos was closed by a slab of stone (both the naos and the stone slab together with some of the funerary equipment are displayed inside the showcase).

It is made out of painted limestone. The group statue represents Seneb and his wife Senet and their children dating from the late 5th or 6th dynasty.

Seneb was an important high official who served the funerary cults of kings Cheops and Djedefre.

He held many titles such as: “Overseer of the palace Dwarfs” chief of the royal wardrobe”, and “priest of the funerary cult of Khufu and Djedefre”.

He was married to Senet, a lady of normal stature, who belonged to the royal palace. She was a priestess of the goddesses Hathor and Neith.

Description of the statue

Both Seneb and his wife are seated on a backless chair. Seneb is shown cross-legged and represented with his real short hair; his hands are crossed over his chest.

His head is carefully placed at the same level as that of his wife. His children are his legs. Occupying the place in the composition where his real legs would normally be shown.

Seneb’s wife embraces him with her right arm from behind and her left from in front, a conventional but telling gesture of affection. The unity of composition reinforces the unity of the family.

His children under his crossed legs are represented with all signs of childhood like fingers in their mouths and they are shown naked and the boy has a side lock of hair (typical signs of childhood in ancient Egypt).

The male figures are in reddish brown color while female figures in pale color. Seneb is wearing a short kilt while his wife is wearing a tight fitting dress, as was the fashion of this era.

Senet is represented with a hair wig, while some of her natural hair appears on her forehead. A light smile is shown on her lips, which indicates that she is content with her life.

She places her right hand on the right shoulder of her husband as a sign of love and care.

Reasons for the position of the children:

  1. A) An artistic convention to hide the deformity of Seneb.
  2. B) To ensure the symmetry of the statue.
  3. C) To show that his children are under his protection.
  4. D) To show that his children will support him in his old age.

Egyptian art: statue of Kaper (Also known as sheikh el-balad)

Egyptian art, statue of Sheikh El-balad
Art of Egypt, the statue of Kaper

It is made out of Sycamore wood. It was discovered by August Mariette in 1860 at the Mastaba of Kaper near the pyramid complex of Userkaf at northern Saqqara.

The statue is made out of four pieces of wood, one for the body. One for the right arm and the rest for the left arm and its bent part the arms were separately modeled and attached to the body, a technique frequently used in wooden statuary.

The statue was originally covered with a light covered with a light coat of painted plaster, slight traces of which remains, and portrays with extreme realism the satisfied opulence of a well-to-do man pleased with his social position.

It represents Kaper with his left leg stepping forward holding in his left hand his staff of power (here substituted with a copy) and probably a cylinder or a scepter which is now missing in right hand.

He is clothed in a long kilt tied below his navel. His short hair emphasizes the rounded lines of his head and face giving a composition of the hull and smoothed features.

The firm personalization of the facial features means that the work falls into the “veristic” or “realistic” artistic school rather than the “idealistic” which tended to cancel the physical characteristics of the individual and match the figure if an ideal type.

Unlike stone statues in which the figure is never completely liberated from the material in which they are carved.

Wood sculptures are more independent, freed from the back pillars and filled spaces between the limbs which were worked separately and applied afterward. You can notice all the Egyptian art characteristics in this statue.

Art of Egypt: the statue of Queen Isis

Egyptian art, state of queen Isis
Ancient Egypt art, the statue of Isis

This statue belongs to queen “Isis” or “1st” whose name in ancient Egyptian language means “throne”. She was a secondary wife of king Thutmose II and mother of his son king Thutmose III.

After her death, her son decided to honor her and raise her to the position of a royal queen. He made this statue for her giving her the title of the “royal mother”.

He also represented her on one of the walls of his tomb at the valley of the kings as a tree from which he is shown suckling the royal blood.

The statue dates back to the new kingdom, 18th dynasty, reign of Thutmose III. It was discovered in 1905, by Legrain, in the court of the cachette in front of the 7th pylon at Karnak temple.

It is made out of black granite. It represents queen Isis seating on a short-back throne, wearing a narrow tight dress, a tripartite wig covering her ears and surmounted by a gilded diadem with two uraei on the forehead, one wearing the white crown of upper Egypt and the other is wearing the red crown of lower Egypt as if implying that she is the queen of the two lands.

She also wears a collar and two bracelets. She holds a floral scepter with her right hand as a sign of royalty and rests the other hand flat on her thigh.

She is shown with delicate facial features represented in round face, wide eyes extended with cosmetic eye lines, gently curved eyebrows, slightly hooked delicate nose, full cheeks and a small elegant smiling mouth.

These 3 beautiful statues are among the most interesting artifacts about ancient Egypt art.