c. 2123–2040 BC
Overall: 24.5 x 51.8 cm (9 5/8 x 20 3/8 in.)
Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1914.543
The huge eyes, spindly limbs, and awkwardly laid out inscriptions are typical of the period after the collapse of the Old Kingdom, when there was no central government. Court sponsorship of the arts declined drastically during this time, and art in the provinces followed its own course. A certain folksy charm--naive and utterly unpretentious--compensates for the lack of sophistication. The two women standing behind the seated man and his wife are probably their daughters. The man’s skin is painted red, the women’s yellow, as was the tradition in Egypt. The inscription is a standard formula for funerary offerings on behalf of Itetioqer.
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