Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Statue of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II in the Jubilee Garment

Period:
Middle Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 11
Reign:
reign of Mentuhotep II
Date:
ca. 2051–2000 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Temple of Mentuhotep II, originally from the courtyard, MMA excavations, 1921–22
Medium:
Sandstone, paint
Dimensions:
H. 252.9 cm (99 9/16 in.); W. 47.7 cm (18 3/4 in.); D. 43.7 cm (17 3/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1926
Accession Number:
26.3.29
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 104
Twenty two statues of this type stood beside (but not in the shadow of) sycomore and tamarisk trees that lined the processional path through the forecourt of the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahri. The rough, rectangular base was inserted into the ground. The king wears the traditional short mantle of the pharaoh's thirty-year jubilee festival (Heb Sed). In his fists were the now missing scepter and flail of Egyptian kings and the god Osiris, probably made of metal. The head on this piece wears the "red" crown of Lower Egypt. No head with the "white" crown of Upper Egypt was found; but it is conceivable that the statues along the south side of the path wore the "white" Upper Egyptian crown, the ones along the north side the "red" Lower Egyptian one. At some later time all statues from the forecourt were decapitated and broken up. Some bodies were buried close to their original places, others were moved around. Most heads are missing. Both the body and head of the Museum's statue were found in the area of the temple of Hatshepsut that is adjacent to the Mentuhotep temple. It is not certain that the head really belonged to this particular body.

The style of the statue is intentionally archaic, presumably because Mentuhotep II is commemorated as the ruler who reunified the country after the First Intermediate Period and thus restored Egypt to its original state first created during the late Predynastic and early Dynastic Period.
Museum excavations, 1921-1922. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

Winlock, Herbert E. 1935. "New Egyptian Rooms." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 30, no. 9 (September), p. 176.

Metropolitan Museum of Art 1975. "The New Egyptian Galleries." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, new series, vol. 33, no. 2 (Summer), p. 112 (fig.).

Arnold, Dorothea 2015. "Statue of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II Standing in the Jubilee Garment." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 50, no. 7.

Oppenheim, Adela 2015. "Introduction: What Was the Middle Kingdom?." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 7.

Arnold, Dieter 2015. "Architecture: Building for Eternity across Egypt." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 12, 14.

Oppenheim, Adela 2015. "Artists and Workshops: The Complexity of Creation." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 23.

Arnold, Dieter and Dorothea Arnold 2015. "A New Start from the South: Thebes during the Eleventh Dynasty." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 41.

Arnold, Dorothea 2015. "Pharaoh: Power and Performance." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 69.

Arnold, Dieter and Adela Oppenheim 2015. "Excavations by The Metropolitan Museum of Art at Middle Kingdom Sites." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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