Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Royal Acquaintances Memi and Sabu

Old Kingdom
Dynasty 4
ca. 2575–2465 B.C.
From Egypt; Probably from Memphite Region, Giza, Western Cemetery
Limestone, paint
h. 62 cm (24.7/16 in); w. 24.5 cm (9 5/8 in); d. 15.2 cm (6 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1948
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 103
This statue evokes the intimacy of Memi and his companion, Sabu, although she is set somewhat apart by her oblique gaze.

Until recently, the flowering of nonroyal statuary was believed to have occurred only in the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties. Recent studies indicate, however, that many of these nonroyal statues, including Memi and Sabu, are better dated to the Fourth Dynasty, contemporary with the great royal statuary programs. The early date for Memi and Sabu is based both on her coiffure and on the reciprocated embrace.
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