NYC – Metropolitan Museum of Art – Haremhab as a Scribe

Pinned on February 4, 2013 at 7:31 am by Betty Rudolph

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NYC – Metropolitan Museum of Art – Haremhab as a Scribe

Haremhab as a Scribe
ca. 1336–1323 B.C.E.; late Dynasty 18, reign of Tutankhamun or Aye; New Kingdom
Egyptian
Granodiorite; H. 46 in. (116.8 cm)

Haremhab was a royal scribe and general of the army under Tutankhamun. He continued to serve during the reign of Aye and eventually succeeded Aye as king. This statue was made before he ascended the throne. By having himself depicted as a scribe, Haremhab declares himself to be among the elite group of literate individuals, thus following a tradition more than a thousand years old of depicting great officials as men of wisdom and learning.

He sits erect, but relaxed, his gaze slightly down. Across his knees he unrolls a papyrus scroll on which he has composed a hymn to the god Thoth, patron of scribes. The shell containing his ink lies on his left knee. Over his left shoulder is a strap with a miniature scribe’s kit attached to each end. A figure of the god Amun is incised on his forearm, perhaps indicating a tattoo.

In this statue the unlined face is belied by the potbelly and the folds of flesh beneath the breasts, artistic conventions indicating that the subject has reached the age of wisdom. Although the scribal pose exhibits the frontal orientation common to all formal Egyptian statuary, it may be appreciated more fully as a piece of sculpture in the round since it has no back pillar. The youthful face reflects the features seen on many statues depicting Tutankhamun, and the style of this magnificent life-size sculpture retains some of the softness and naturalism of the earlier Amarna period while looking forward to later Ramesside art.

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. V. Everit Macy, 1923 (23.10.1)

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s permanent collection contains more than two million works of art from around the world. It opened its doors on February 20, 1872, housed in a building located at 681 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Under their guidance of John Taylor Johnston and George Palmer Putnam, the Met’s holdings, initially consisting of a Roman stone sarcophagus and 174 mostly European paintings, quickly outgrew the available space. In 1873, occasioned by the Met’s purchase of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriot antiquities, the museum decamped from Fifth Avenue and took up residence at the Douglas Mansion on West 14th Street. However, these new accommodations were temporary; after negotiations with the city of New York, the Met acquired land on the east side of Central Park, where it built its permanent home, a red-brick Gothic Revival stone "mausoleum" designed by American architects Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mold. As of 2006, the Met measures almost a quarter mile long and occupies more than two million square feet, more than 20 times the size of the original 1880 building.

In 2007, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was ranked #17 on the AIA 150 America’s Favorite Architecture list.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1967. The interior was designated in 1977.

National Historic Register #86003556


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