Egyptian / Haremhab as a Scribe / ca. 1336?1323 B.C.Egyptian
Haremhab as a Scribe
ca. 1336?1323 B.C.

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Creator Nationality: African; North African; Egyptian
Creator Name-CRT: Egyptian
Title: Haremhab as a Scribe
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 0
Creation End Date: 2
Creation Date: ca. 1336?1323 B.C.
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: Granodiorite
Dimensions: 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. Here , Haremhab is depicted in the scribal pose, seated on the ground with legs crossed. 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. 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.

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. Haremhab sits erect, but relaxed, his gaze slightly down, as if reading the papyrus on his lap. The youthful face reflects the features seen on many statues depicting Tutankhamun. This 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. The style of this magnificent lifesize sculpture retains some of the softness and naturalism of the earlier Amarna Period (the time of Akhenaten), while looking forward to later Ramesside art.

AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 23.10.1
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. V. Everit Macy, 1923
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art . All rights reserved.
Style or Period: New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Tutankhamun or Aye
AMICA ID: MMA_.23.10.1
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

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