Egyptian sculpture

Egyptian sculpture

A married couple. The period of the XVIII dynasty. Second half of XV century BC. Limestone

Egyptian sculpture

It was established that in the Ancient East there is a power over the power, consisting of more than the early institutions that have passed from the primitive, informative society. Proceeding from the totality of these facts, demanding, of course, to rethink the whole picture of development, in particular, of ancient Egyptian culture, and, therefore, to revise many things in our religion, literature and art. All historical disciplines, each in its own language, each with its own positions, have moved on to solving the subject of problems. With this state of affairs, all sorts of extrahistorical and subjective-idealistic concepts that modernize the true understanding of style have lost all value to us. Appeal to Cubism when considering Egyptian sculpture or to the Barbizon school when considering Amarna painting began to seem ridiculous.

One of the significant changes in the socio-economic structure of the ancient Egyptian society of the Thoughts of Marx and Engels was that they pointed to the role of the community in this society. Thus, K. Marx wrote: “The simplicity of the production mechanism of these self-sufficient communities, which constantly reproduce themselves in the same form, and are destroyed, then again in the same place, under the same name, explains the mystery of the immutability of Asian societies , which is in such sharp contrast with the constant destruction and neoplasm of the Asian states and the rapid change of their dynasties. The structure of the basic economic elements of this society is not affected by the storms taking place in the cloudy sphere of politics. ” And in another place, speaking of the ancient Eastern church of power and the region, Marx wrote in his famous letter to Engels: “I believe that it is difficult to come up with a more solid foundation for stagnant Asian despotism.” And now we see how Mathieu uses with great clarity in his article “The Role of the Artist’s Personality in the Art of Ancient Egypt” these facts of the stagnation and preservation in Egyptian society of even earlier remnants of primitive society.
A private, seemingly topic, becomes one of the cardinal for the history of Egyptian art, for ultimately solving the problems of the creative method. M.E. Mathieu writes: “This stagnation of the historical process, and especially the retreat from the forms of the tribal system, and the prolonged preservation of the remnants of individual elements of this type in class society, explains and has a very large number of transitions of robotic ideology in the ideology of class Egypt. The degree of strength and the possibilities of these problems, especially clear if we recall at least only such, whatever they may be, such important events as cultural ancestors, the cult of local gods, the cult of animals, the cult of fetishes, remnants of matriarchy in law and custom, transfer on the pharaoh of the entire cycle of ideas about the tribal leader, as a magical focus, the fertile forces of nature and the tribe, and as a consequence, the presence not only of the cult of dead aryas, but also the complex ritual of all royal usage associated with this whole. Let us recall, finally, the huge role of magical beliefs and witchcraft practices in the religion of the Egyptians. ” And further: “It is not surprising; that in the art of class Egypt we will find a large number of traits that go back to art in the press and last year. Ancient kingdom fixed in the then created for the first time and then become canonical images. This idea
is very correct. In a fairly archaic for a number of its early-class Egyptian art retained many survivals of an even more primitive ideology. This idea of ​​Mathieu Mathieu is confirmed in another of her work on Egyptian magical female statutes, proven on the material, in contrast to many theories of Western European scholars, the connection of these figurines with the idea of ​​procreation, the magical survivals of a counter society.
In this connection, we can mention the Yu. P. Frantsov hens who showed on the analysis of the Egyptian religion that “under the thick of the religion of the early class society in both Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt, we clearly distinguish those forms that are called” fetishism. ”
These examples, the number of which could be significantly increased, are given here to verify the correctness of the evaluation of the socio-ideological structure of Egyptian society, not only in our general historical works, but also in specific studies related to physical problems, in particular, to art monuments. As I argued in one of my works, “a very significant feature of Egyptian art, also indisputable rooted in the primitive-pre-class society, is its organic adhesion with other types of ideology.”
Egyptian art was inextricably linked with the religious and magical representations of the Egyptians. Sculptures that would flow solely out of a person’s aesthetic needs and adorn his home, did not exist and could not exist, for this was the lot of another culture, at a different and later phase of its development. Monumental temple statues or a small sculpture from tombs were both monuments of art and religious monuments. This was their historical limitations and at the same time artistic uniqueness. This primary undividedness is equally felt in the great diorite statue of King Khafre from his memorial temple and in the marvelous pair of statuettes of Rannai with her husband Amenhotep. The cycle of relief images on the walls of the tombs with accompanying texts is also organically linked.
The synthesis of art is decided here not on the basis of the reunification of disintegrated art forms, but on the basis of the primary integrity: a relief or a painting with accompanying religious-magical text, a statue or
figurines-as with the bearer of the Ka of their owner, the statuettes of ushabti, as with a servant called to do work for his master in an imaginary otherworldly reality, etc., etc. But this spike continued even further, linking individual species art among themselves. The relief and plastic were integral parts of the tomb and the temple, and only this complex acquired the necessary efficiency. The unfolded cycles of reliefs and frescoes on the walls of the tomb with images of fieldwork, craft workshops and other production processes were the only thing that relieved the dead, the owner of the tomb, from worries in the other world, providing him with the right food and satisfying all his other needs.
The image had a magical effect, and art thus acquired a religious character and at the same time a strict conditionality of the canon, the character of a certain formula. This was the result of the dual and organic cohesion of art with religious and magical knowledge and architecture with fine art. Since the monumental architecture was a repository of plastics and relief, the base on which the relief was developed or the sculpture was exhibited, insofar as all this visual art, based on its religious-magical, became subordinate, dependent on the laws of this monumental architecture. Thus, the types of construction were developed, the character of the compositions in statues and statuettes that emerged and grew under the influence of the leading art-architecture. In this case, the fact of the appearance, for example, of the composition of a scribe sitting on the ground, bound by a pyramidal shape, is curious, precisely at the time when the pyramid was the dominant form of monumental architecture. There is no doubt that one of the features of this monumentality was the magnitude, that cult of the quantitative, which was designed to suppress the consciousness of a person, to inspire him with the idea of ​​the superhuman essence of the deified pharaoh, embedded in the pyramid. This feature was basically no less archaic than the other features noted here, rooted in primitive ideology. Continuing these observations, we will see the same features in the relief, where the idea of ​​the importance of a nobleman is also deciphered by increasing his figure in comparison with his subordinates, where the figure of the pharaoh in the battle formations on the pylons increases tremendously, because in comparison with him hundreds of escaping or fighting enemies seem in mass with its pattern, pattern, background, filled with dots.
However, the nature of the ancient east of the monumental solution has another side. The monumentality of style is enhanced by the grandeur of size, but it is by no means conditioned. The relationship between scale and magnitude is different. The Gizekh pyramids, reduced in the pages of the book only to a few centimeters, do not cease to be monumental, neither does the monument to Chephren, nor the statue of Khafre, lose its monumentality. The impression of grandeur and grandeur from the Cheops pyramid depends not only on the quantity, but also on other components of its style: complete tranquility, laconic expression, brought to the limit crystallized compositions, etc.
At this point, we come to the question of the relation of large, monumental plastics, the organic part entering into the architectural complex, to sculpture of small forms. In essence, both these types of plastics were closely related to each other. We are also here confronted with the same unity, which was mentioned above. And just as the composition of the great diorite statue of Khafre was largely conditioned and dictated by the memorial temple of the king, the monumental of the monuments of Egyptian architecture, in the same way the plastic of small forms is inseparable from the great sculpture. Strictly speaking, one can not even draw a clear line between a statue and a figurine, if, of course, it is not from the arithmetic solution of the question, but from its artistic-stylistic evaluation that, of course.
Table 3 reproduces the statuette of Saint-Nofra, sitting in the usual posture on a cubic pedestal. His hands rest on his knees, his legs are bent at right angles. The whole figure is constrained by a strict law of frontality. It is conditional and very monumental. Both the frontal and hieratic character of Saint-Naphra’s appearance are generally conditioned by the motive-magical designation of the monument. The hieroglyphic signature on the back and on the left seat plane contains a funeral formula on behalf of Osiris, the lord of Abydos, dedicated to the “sandal master” -Sen-Nofru.
Any other pose, except for centuries established, strictly conditioned by the canon, is excluded in ancient Egyptian art. Frontality and all the other stylistic features are not a formal device here. The religious-magical formula speaks the same language as the artistic features of the monument, which is only a well-represented image of the same composition in large monumental sculptures. Saint-Nofre is a sort of reduced “reproduction” from the colossi of Memnon-giant statues, flanking once the entrance to the memorial temple of Amenhotep S. And to the same extent that the colossi corresponded to a strictly rectilinear, imposingly simple and monumental forms of the temple, and the statue of Saint-Nofra is distinguished by a peculiar “architecture”. Different sizes do not change the artistic appearance of the monument here, as in architecture, but at the same time the cult of the quantitative in the pyramid immeasurably increases its monumental nature.
It would, however, be a mistake to fully identify the monumental sculpture with the plasticity of small forms.
Of course, all this set of small figurines has its own peculiarities, rooted in a great variety of religious-magic assignments and materials that determine this plastic. Here much is still unclear and much is to be learned. It has long been noted that in a monumental sculpture the portrait type and style vary greatly depending on the purpose of the statue. Thus, the sculptural portrait intended for the serdaba turns out to be considerably more documentary than the conventional style of a very leveled portrait statue designed for the temple (for example, a series of portraits of Senusert I from his church in Lisht). It has also been repeatedly pointed out that there is a difference in the portraits of individuals and kings, and so on. I repeat: if, for all the seemingly detailed study of monumental portrait sculpture, work on the differentiation of artistic genres is still planned, no less area of ​​small plastic. After all, it is quite clear that the mass production of “ushabti” majestic figurines is very different, for example, from small wooden; sculpture of the Middle Kingdom. Mummy ushsatti with arms crossed on his chest more likely confirm the law of dependence of the forms of a small sculpture from a monumental one. No less arbitrary were the magical female statuettes associated with the idea of ​​procreation. After all, most of these figurines are missing, for example, legs, like in our statuette of a woman with a child in her arms. The legs were cut off for a specific purpose: to prevent the woman shown in the statuette from leaving the grave. Similar ideas associated with this genre of small plastics, were kept in Egyptian art from even earlier primitive magic. It is therefore clear that this specifically magical purpose of the monument also affected its artistic expression. After all, how connected are these women’s magical statuettes in comparison with at least a small wooden sculpture of the Middle Kingdom era: with multi-figure groups of musicians, different artisans, walking soldiers, with all this numerous staff of servants who accompanied their master to the tomb . But in this case we also encounter a sculpture, which in the final analysis had a religious and magical purpose, although it was not connected with any circle of magical functions, as in the above-mentioned female statuettes or even more portrait statues of serdobs, temple statues of kings with their triumph and etc. In addition, in these wooden statuettes, representing a large staff of servants, the artist tried at times to display a certain production process.
Right here; in these entertaining and vivid, more everyday scenes than in any other Egyptian art, the artist moved away from the cold laws of the canon, the obligatory etiquette of solemn and primly courtly sculpture, and was to a greater extent given to free creativity. The features of the people, the lively flow of folk art, made its way into this small plastic, full of a peculiar charm> sometimes rudimentary in its too colorful colors, but always alive in immediate poses, naive and unexpected movements. How curious, for example, is our porter statuette, threw back his hands, or a group of walking scribes, or, finally, models of boats with rowers. Look how different these are sometimes only funny, sometimes highly artistic wooden figures from the palace stone sculptural portrait. This massive wooden small sculpture, undoubtedly, finds its parallels in numerous relief cycles on the walls of tombs, especially the Ancient Kingdom. Both of these arts resonate and are distinguished by their talk: interest in the plot, some naive simplicity and bright coloring. How many, for example, fresh and unique, unexpected in the figures of servants on the boat model! How correctly noticed the posture of the helmsman, how much sharp observation of nature in the rowers lying on the oars, like a motley and elegantly ornamented boat with a pattern!
However, when considering small plastics as a special artistic genre of sculpture, it would be erroneous and too detached. Despite all the originality, its dependence on monumental forms still remains in force, the unity of the type noted above.
With all its distinctive features, small plastic is a single type with a monumental sculpture. Can it be attributed to the category of genre sculpture, even with recognition of sharp-realistic observations, and sculptural groups on models of boats, and the figure of the porter, and much more? Of course, no, because the presence of interest in the domestic motif in the small wooden sculpture of the Middle Kingdom in no way removed other more significant features of the style. And here, as elsewhere, the strict laws of the canon were applied in Egyptian sculpture, all with the same nomination of the left foot, conditional coloring in the lighter color of female bodies and in the darker (brick-brown) male (the figures of oarsmen, walking scribes, )
Studying the small plastic, we see in it and its other synthetic feature: the unity of the monumental and decorative beginnings. The opposition of these two principles occurred in Western European art after the Middle Ages, but at such an early stage of development as the Egyptian culture, their disengagement was still impossible. A striking example of this is the outer walls of the pylons in the temples of the New Kingdom era. More often than not, the huge planes of the pylons were covered with reliefs with battle scenes that served as pictures of annals for the military campaigns of Egyptian kings. Pharaoh was portrayed here as tall with a bow in his hands or, more often, racing in a chariot and conquering countless hordes of enemies. All these tiny figures standing and kneeling people fleeing and flying upside down from a mortal wound could be understood each separately when viewed from a close distance. When they retreated, they all merged, forming a motley background, a kind of carpet, a “decorative panel” that helped with the greater force to reveal the giant silhouette of the king.
At the beginning of this article, it has already been pointed out that a significant person has been allocated a quantitative increase. This method was based on a very archaic understanding of nature, the principle that linked Egyptian art with pre-class. And at the same time, this logic of things inevitably led to the unification of the giant figure of the king and the background, covered with a light pattern of patterns. Usually two giant silhouette of the pharaoh, who planned the entrance, held the wall, creating a support for the already monumental form. This monumentality grew from the contrast with the decorative ripple of the background.
No less convincing example is the delightful casket of Tutankhamun, perceived as a refined, purely jeweler work. Meanwhile, here, too, the battle composition with the tsar rushing on the chariot is an exact repetition of the compositions only with an appropriate scale reduction.
This is how the principles of art of large and small forms, monumental and decorative, co-exist in Egypt.
We have already noted a purely monumental beginning in a number of figurines, in particular, ushabti, which in fact were small mock-ups of large mummies and huge forms of sarcophagi. But at the same time, is it possible that from the bright blue faience, sometimes colorful, or limestone and brightly colored in a festive manner, do not represent exceptional examples of decorative art?
You can go further and from this last point of view look at all the small plastic. We will be convinced at the same time in the extremely deep, organically and subtly developed sense of decorativeness of the Egyptian masters. An important role in this case is the choice of material – an exceptional culture of processing all sorts of materials and their exquisite combination in a variety of inlays. These are both sculptural groups of the seated married couple. This is especially true of the polychrome group No. 2101. Its monumentality does not require proof, this has already been said enough. But in what harmonic combination is this principle of the strictest composition here, with a variety of colors and finest lines. How skillfully are combined the cold, frozen and stiff poses of both figures with the elegance of their dresses, with the folding of folds on long
sleeves, with lush wigs, in turn decorated with multi-colored sashes!
Decorability was especially characteristic of the art of the era of the New Kingdom, and therefore it is quite understandable that it was this era that developed a special genre of small plastics. The artistic devices that embodied these decorative principles in small sculpture were very diverse. In one case, they were expressed by the material itself: the wide use of faience, all kinds of stones, precious woods that the Egyptian masters used with such brilliance. On the other hand, this is the variegation of the mural, the fascination with ornamentation, the ligature of a fine line drawn through limestone (a polychrome group of the sculptured couple on the frontispiece, one of the painted ushashti, and finally, incrustation widespread in the small plastic of the New Kingdom.
It was no less charming that very large number of small plastics, where the incrustation was reduced to the combination of various materials, where art consisted in the refinement of a combination, in its fine playing, sometimes inimitable charm. It is enough in this respect to recall the famous head of Queen Tia, made in ebony and originally contrasted with her blue wig and gold and ivory ornaments. To point to the incrustation of this kind would be to list almost all the small monuments of the tomb of Tutankhamun. This would mean recognizing behind these monuments a special decorative luxury, which marked one of the most marvelous arts of the New Kingdom era. Decorative in that era was imbued with not only art, but the whole palace life, the whole fashion for luxurious and long dresses, lush wigs, exquisite and delicate manners. After all, it is impossible to forget about the leading role that Egypt played in the first half of the New Kingdom among other countries of the Ancient East.
Submission to Egypt of most of Asia and Nubia turned Egypt into essentially the largest power of that time, demanding special and elevated forms of palace representation, its entire structure. This structure, with particular brightness reflected in numerous frescoes, largely depended on the economy of Nubia and the Asiatic states subordinate to Egypt. Nubia, which supplied Egypt with gold and precious tree varieties, ivory and ostrich feathers, especially increased the export of these and other goods in the era of the New Kingdom. Precious tree varieties went, among other types of raw materials, from the Near East, as the “Travel of the Egyptian Unu-Amon” says with documentary persuasiveness, recorded on the world-famous papyrus kept in the State Museum of Fine Arts. Ultimately, the fascination with decorative was due to two facts: caused by a whole set of socio-economic and ideological reasons, the common desire for luxury that prevailed in the higher circles of the slave society, especially in the palace life, and the presence of a large quantity of precious material.
Small plastic of the New Kingdom era knows many examples of such art. These are statuettes, especially women’s, made from the most valuable and most beautiful varieties of wood. In this series of world-famous female statuettes of the period of the XVIII dynasty, our statuette of the priestess of the “singer Amop” Rannai takes an honorable and special place. Unforgettable proportions of its elongated figure, the contour line, the whole structure of this image is graceful and delicate, as in the previous cases combined in itself monumental severity and decorative beauty. Much in the exquisite appearance of Rannai is due to the reception of a mix of different materials, a game of contrasts. Look how the gold of her wrists and necklace plays on the dark matte color of the precious wood! No less subtle sounds and the connection of a tree with ivory in a toilet spoon in the form of a mourner. It is hardly possible to find such a vivid example of decorative art not only in Egyptian, but also in world art. But note, by the way, that even this miniature monument of very “chamber forms” at the same time does not lose some of its own, very peculiar, but great monumental impressiveness. In my publication of the spoon, I noted the contrast applied in it, usual for Egyptian art, in contrasting parts: a strict vertical in the formulation of a separately executed head to the horizon of an elongated body. On our toilet spoon it would be easiest to show one more feature of the Egyptian small plastic, namely: the same organic connection it, as works of sculpture, the art industry. We are faced with yet another type of synthesis: plastics and applied arts.
The long-standing failure of the latter term is particularly striking in this example. The concept of “applied art” arose, of course, as applied to later epochs, when certain types of art began to separate themselves, and when a broad field of the art industry was given the character of subordination and secondary importance in relation to “pure art”. But if such an assessment was illegal for later ages, then for the evaluation of Egyptian art it turned out to be a completely distorting case, for it is obviously impossible to draw a line in our spoon between the field of so-called applied art and plasticity itself. A large number of Egyptian monuments of the art industry were also inextricably linked with early religious and magical ideas, and consequently, in this kind of synthesis we again meet with a very archaic phenomenon of artistic culture. After all, on the feet of the same naked figure floating on our spoon engraved schematic image of the god Besa-patron not only women and children, but also a female toilet. The prerogatives of this god with even greater convexity appear in the charming stone toilet vascular supported by the Bes. Finally, in the same aspect, Bes is shown on the magnificent carved mirror handle. In all these cases, not just a connection, but the organic connection of the cult with art is indisputable, and the toilet spoon, as a monument of the art industry, from plastics proper, is also inseparable.
In fact, a pink lotus flower served as a toilet pot for ointments, pointing to a certain utilitarian purpose of the monument, but not the viewer perceives it in the first place, but the figure itself floated gracefully carrying the vascular. Moreover, the vessel is not detected immediately, for it is closed by a lid forming the shape of a lotus flower. It is clear that the flower is an accessory, the viewer perceives the monument as a figurine. As a small plastic sample, we perceive the indicated figure of Demon holding a vesicle in front of him. The figurine of the god is bigger than the vascular. It is she who dominates the composition. With the same success, the vascular could be replaced with another, subordinate statuette, attribute. There are also reverse cases, the subordination of plastic to the subject of the art industry: for example, reliefs on high in the form of a glass vessels, carved figured legs in beds, chairs, tables or the amazing carvings of a Negro and an Asian as a handle on one of Tutankhamun’s canes and But regardless of the accents, in both cases, both kinds of art are not accidental or even based on only one aesthetic flair, but a deeply organic spike that indicates the unity of small plastics with the region art industry in the conditions of the early ancient Eastern culture. Egyptian masters showed exceptional ingenuity, combining both types of art. They found at times quite unexpected, but always artistically convincing compositional decisions. Such, for example, is a terracotta vessel in the form of a woman with a child. The neck of a vessel on a wig of a female figure appears to be worn over the head with a crown. In general, the vessel is perceived as a monument of small plastics. In this regard, one could once again recall the toilet vessels of the era of the New Kingdom from the museums of Cairo, Liverpool and Leiden.
Many interesting postures and unexpected movements, remarkable grace of proportions and beauty of the line, we find in Egyptian small plastic. In all these qualities the reader will be convinced personally, considering the monuments of the State Museum of Fine Arts. A. S. Pushkin. Recognize this quality is sometimes more difficult than in later arts, because in Egypt art was constrained by the canon and tradition. Let us recall the profound and correct definitions of ancient societies by K. Marx: “Here, within a certain circle,” he wrote, “there can be considerable development. Large individuals may appear. But here the free and full development of neither the individual nor the society is unthinkable, since such development is in contradiction with the original relation (between the individual and society). So, speaking of the development of the ancient east of society, Marx pointed only to the fact that “the free and full development of the individual” is not possible here, but this did not solve the question
the possibility of the appearance of “big personalities”. This is a deep thought, because the lack of freedom in the manifestation of creative will, the existence of canons that gravitated over art did not exclude the appearance of the largest artists. In art like the Egyptian, it is more difficult sometimes to see through the strict rules enforced by centuries to see the true talent, to guess the lively stream of great creativity.
Obeying the dictates of the canon and in its outlined boundaries in architecture and sculpture, painting and relief, there worked wonderful masters along with a mass of craft that did not go beyond observing the tradition.
Small plastic did not escape the same fate. Along with the stencil, such masterpieces of our collection as paired statuettes of Ran-nai with her husband rise, like the sculptural portrait of Amenemhet Sh, as an “ivory swimmer”, as a series of statuettes of the gods and much more.
To draw the attention of the Soviet reader to such uniques and, in general, to small plasticity as a peculiar phenomenon of Egyptian art, this is the task of this work.

Table. 1. A statuette of a seated scribe. Inventory number 5578. Age of the Ancient Kingdom. Beginning III millennium BC. e. Red sandstone. Height 14 cm

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 1. Sitting scribe. Ancient kingdom. III millennium BC. e. Red sandstone.

As already indicated in the introductory essay, Egyptian art belonged to one of the earliest cultures of the ancient Eastern society. In the existing slave-owning monarchy, the elements of the preceding primitive communal stage of development were still very strong. Stronger than anywhere else, it was observed in religion, in particular, in the magical ideas associated with the cult of the dead. This cult demanded extensive pictorial material, very diverse both in terms of revealing pictorial symbols, and in the types of art, material and technique. Art changed its style as ideology changed in the development of social relations. And so little plasticity in each of the epochs of ancient Egypt turned out to be so different in stylistic terms, although art, like religion, maintained a uniform character and appearance. Sculpture and relief, mural painting and numerous funeral implements from the things of applied art and material culture lived the same life with the religious and magical representations embodied in the texts of the tombs. Just as these ideas, by their own means and in their own language, art marked a certain historical stage of its development. It was an art that did not yet know in the relief and fresco of the laws of perspective, but combined on one plane only parts of the subject visible from different sides; it was an art that was looking for a unique solution in a portrait statue and a statuette associated with the most complicated teaching of the same funeral cult-the life force of the man, Ka, moving into the statue after his death.
Hence all the qualities of Egyptian art.
The dialectic of the development of the historical process is contradictory. So, in the small plastic arts of sacred animal figurines, elements that still rooted in primitive magic, totemic representations, are combined with a later and much more refined style. The naturalistic conceptions of the Ka, which are characteristic of the primary archaic stage, lead to a very early, but still peculiarly realistic interpretation (see, for example, our figurine of Pharaoh Amenemchet III, Table 6-9).

We do not set ourselves the task of providing a comprehensive picture of the development of Egyptian plastics of small forms on published samples. The proposed publications are, to a greater or lesser extent, only material that will serve to further the history of art.
Some of the published figurines, which have been studied to a greater extent, entail a wider range of questions that we have outlined; Others do not provide sufficient material for such generalizations. In such cases, the matter is limited to attribution, based on drawing analogies and finding a proper historical place for the monument.
In our collection, the scribe’s statuette is one of the earliest sculptures of the era of the Old Kingdom.
The scribe sits on the ground with crossed legs. In both hands he holds the ends of the unfolded papyrus. The proportions of the body and head are very short and disproportionate. A large head, almost devoid of neck, seemed to grow into the shoulders. The cube-shaped torso seems set on the ground. In general, the composition of the whole figurine is sustained in square forms, to the extreme generalized. Equally summarized is a person with short and compactly transmitted hair. This shape of the round hairstyle covering ears and leaving a fake face in the front, we know from a number of figurines, both the Ancient and Middle Kingdom. For example, we can bring at least a group of fighters from the collection of the Pushkin Museum. At first glance, our scribe statue produces an extremely archaic impression. It seems to be older than the famous statue of the scribe of the period of the IV dynasty, at one time considered still a prototype for the whole series of similar sculptures. However, on the other hand, our scribe is clearly younger than the earliest known statuette in the Chicago Museum and published by N. Ranke. The latter dates the statuette beginning of the II dynasty, finding it some analogies with a series of Tinissian sculptures, in particular, with a statue of a kneeling priest from Memphis.
As an analogy to the Chicago scribe, I would, for my part, draw both statues of King Hasehem, where the same typically archaic, somewhat obtuse expression with swollen eyes, eyeballs and a general, very primitive interpretation of the form is observed. These archaic features are already obsolete in the published statuette of the Pushkin Museum. Its surface is relatively well polished, the chest is sharply marked. The shape of the square, in which the whole composition of the monument is sustained, shows rather that geometrization, of those conditional forms that later developed in Egyptian art. Consequently, our monument occupies an intermediate place between the statuette of the Chicago Museum and the famous statue given by Bsssing. The monument is not later than the period of the IV dynasty, more likely a dynasty. BA Turaev, noting the immaculate state of the statuette, dated it to the general epoch of the Ancient Kingdom.
Table. 2. A statuette of a woman. Inventory number 5127. Age of the Ancient Kingdom. Beginning III millennium BC. e. White crystalline stone. Height 14 cm

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 2. A statuette of a woman. Ancient kingdom. III millennium BC. e. A rock.

The monument has been preserved in half. Only the upper part of the figurine has reached. From the belt there are two straps covering the chest. The wig, divided by straight locks and usual for the Ancient Kingdom, hangs with two ends in front and one behind. The head is an exclusively characteristic type of a portrait dominating in the era of the Old Kingdom. The face is square, the generality of the form is brought to an almost complete leveling of the details. Dense, precisely poured massive cheeks are reduced to a single solid spherical plane. Not only in the interpretation of the face, but also in the shape of the wig, the monument is easily identified with a long series of known figurines, especially with a head from the Metropolitan Museum in New York, with a statue from the British Museum and with the figure of a woman from the sculpture group reproduced in Fehheimer. The same hanging front with two ends and a nearly wiggly wig with a parting in the middle we meet in the figure of Mikerin’s wife in a well-known group of the Boston museum. Almost in all cases, hair is shown from under the wig, which is especially clearly shown in the figure from the Metropolitan Museum. Less often we see that massive, covering the whole head of a wig that adorns the head of our figurines. The monument given by Feheymer in all respects is the closest analogy to ours. But the rest of the named monuments are also dated by all researchers during the period of the IV dynasty.
The same type of conditional portrait, generalized and spherical face, is preserved and later – until the end of the Old Kingdom. However, since the V of the dynasty the proportions become slimmer, the neck stretches. The landing of the head in our monument is archaic; the head seems to have fallen into the shoulders. The most probable date-period of the IV dynasty.
Inventory No. 4760. End of the Age of the Old Kingdom. III millennium BC. e. Alabaster. High. 12 centimeters
A statuette of excellent safety. The master of sandals Saint-Nofr sits on a cubic seat. Hands rest on their knees, on their heads a round wig, cut off by braids. Such wigs are found in small, mostly wooden, plastic era of the Middle Kingdom, more often in the statues of the Ancient Kingdom. The statuette of Saint-Nofrah has some similarities with the alabaster figurine from the Caribbean Museum of the military commander Mesekhti, as pointed out by Mathieu Mathieu, characteristic of the Sith school of the period of the XI dynasty. M.E. Mathieu, it seems to me, very correctly noticed the difference in the style of the statue of Mesechti from the monuments of the Ancient Kingdom and the court art of the early Middle Kingdom. But compared with a more free pose, with the raised head, for example, and the knees at Mesechti, the composition of the statuette of Saint-Nofra seems traditionally older. At the same time, there are indisputable features of similarity. On both monuments lies the seal of some provinciality. In both cases the proportions of the figure are shortened. This heaviness is even more felt in our figurine with its disproportionately large head, almost devoid of neck, and pillar-like, massive legs. Very formally treated form, especially the person, as is observed in a number of sculptures of the era of the Old Kingdom.
At the same time, the brilliant and delicate processing of material, sufficient refinement of the general appearance hardly allow, for all the archaic nature of the monument, to attribute it to the early period of the Old Kingdom. We are more likely to deal here with the late phase of plastic development, when the traditions of the V dynasty’s art were already lost, when, instead of slender figures with delicately planted heads on long necks, coarse proportions began to appear. The most likely date for the appearance of our figurines is the very end of the era of the Old Kingdom, before the birth of yet new trends in the art of the Middle Kingdom.

Tabby. 4. Group of the married couple of the priest Meami and his wife Diku.
Inventory number 5575. Age of the Ancient Kingdom. The period of the IV dynasty. the millennium BC. e. Limestone. Height 9 cm

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 4. Group of the married couple of the priest Meami and his wife Diku. Ancient kingdom. The period of the IV dynasty. III millennium BC. e. Limestone.

Both figures are squatting with hands resting on their knees. The head of the female figure is lost, the left hand has a brush in both figures and a part of the male’s chin. In places there are traces of the original and quite traditional coloring: the brick color of the male body and black color on wigs and hieroglyphics. Wigs in both cases are treated with a solid mass, and the female wig, as indicated by BA Turaev, has an unusual shape. This wig is given as a wide board, reaching to the chest and covering the shoulders. It rather resembles the long and lush wigs of the era of the New Kingdom. But the interpretation of the composition as a whole is not entirely customary either. Numerous sculptural groups of the four are known, where a man and a woman stand side by side, or sit. Sometimes children’s figures are added to them. The composition of kneeling or squatting both figures must be recognized as rare. More often in these poses are given individual figures in the plastic of the Ancient and especially the Middle Kingdom, as evidenced, for example, by a series of sculptures from the Cairo Museum.
In the inscriptions on our group there are cartouches of King Khufu, which, apparently, allowed Turaev to carry the monument to the period of the IV dynasty. With such dating, the style of the monument is also consistent, especially the preserved face of the priest Mami, performed in an early and very generalized manner. Work is quite handicraft.
Table. 5. A group of two wrestlers. Inventory number 5576. End of the era of the Old Kingdom. III millennium BC. e. Limestone. Height 9.5 cm

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 5. Group of wrestlers. End of the era of the Ancient Kingdom. III millennium BC. e. Limestone.

In contrast to the previous sculptural group and the portrait of a woman who represented samples of the official portrait sculpture associated with magical ideas, in this case we are dealing with another category of mass funerary small plastic art. These are the innumerable images of various servants who, accompanying their master to an imaginary afterlife, are called upon to delight his ears with music, then to perform various agricultural works such as the tombs of the Ancient Kingdom often depicted in reliefs, etc. Of the like, sometimes very numerous multi-figured compositions executed both in round sculpture, and in relief and murals, we learn about different aspects of the life of Egyptian society.
Since Egyptian art very accurately documents such scenes, they acquire a greater value of the source. The historian draws his conclusions from this most interesting and very extensive material, which in a number of cases allows indirect illumination of that or
a different question about production relations, the nature of crafts,
about the technique of this or that production, etc. But for the student of art this material is no less interesting. When depicting production processes or servants, the Egyptian artist less adhered to the strict canons caused by magical images, and therefore these images are stylistically different from the depiction of kings or nobles.
It does not follow from this, however, that in Egyptian art, in this case, in the era of the Old Kingdom, there were two fundamentally different manners of the image. The magical appointment of servants, unequal in all cases, entails different groups of small plastics. So, for example, in the ushabti figures there is a lot of canonicity, conditional connectivity; a somewhat different order of conventionality is observed in magical female statuettes, associated in some cases with the magical idea of ​​procreation.
Finally, the groups of servants are much more free, etc., but in these numerous sculptural groups of servants we meet with the traditional coloring of bodies, with the established method of extending the left leg and other features that do not allow this sculpture to be distinguished in principle from the monumental funerary or temple sculpture. And in the published group of wrestlers, as in the numerous later figures of fighters in the paintings of the tombs of Beni-Hasan, we are not yet meeting with genre art, but only with well-known genre motifs caused by the nature of the plot and the attitude of the artist to it.
Egyptian art and in this case remains at a very early stage of representativeness. It is hardly possible therefore to agree with the characterization of BA Turaev, who noted in this group of fighters from the GM and I, strained faces and tense looks. After all, work is quite handicraft, and, in particular, individuals are given very general. There can be no question of any psychologism that came to art much later.
The group represents two kneeling wrestlers, two intertwined figures. The bodies are painted in a traditional brick-brown color, wigs-in black, short aprons-in white. On the necks are necklaces marked with blue dots. Similar short wigs • giving a semi-circular bangs in front and treated as a solid head covering their heads, we will note later in the Middle Kingdom era. For the Ancient kingdom, however, it is sufficient to point at least to the statuette of the scribe of the early period of the Old Kingdom. BA Turaev, like Malmberg, stopping at a group of wrestlers, did not specify an epoch. Dating really is a challenge, because the monument, apparently, refers to the intermediate period from the Ancient to the Middle Kingdom, where the establishment of any exact dates is very difficult. Nevertheless, the analogy of our monument with a group of fighters from the museum in The Hague begs. In both cases, the complete coincidence of poses, the nature of movements, coloring, drawing of wigs and necklaces, even size. The former owner of the Hague Monument, based on his discovery in Arab-El-Bourg, near Siut, attributed it to the Herakleopol period, presumably to the IX dynasty. This date also matches our monument, which, according to the order of BA Turaev, comes from Ahmim. Both groups of wrestlers are rather archaic in comparison with the sculptural groups of the mature pore of the Middle Kingdom. At the same time, our monument belongs precisely to that category of small plastic of a genre character, which began its work already in the wooden figures of the Sixth Dynasty and with special force blossomed in the wooden sculpture of the Middle Kingdom.
Table. 6-9. The upper part of the statuette of Pharaoh Amenemhet III. InEnental № 4757. The Age of the Middle Kingdom. Period XII of the dynasty. XIX century BC. e. Gray granite. Height 29 cm

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 8. Pharaoh Amenemhet III (detail).

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 7. Pharaoh Amenemist III. Profile.

Egyptian sculpture

Table 6. 6. Pharaoh Amenemhet III. Middle Kingdom. Period XII of the dynasty. XIX century. BC. e. Granite.

The sculptural portrait, like the literature of the Middle Kingdom, is an exceptional phenomenon not only within Egyptian but also world culture. Following the historical development, plastic in general, the royal portrait plastic, in particular, is basically the four stages of development. The period of the XI dynasty, when the state and the ideology of the Middle Kingdom era was being formed, turned out, in particular, for the portrait, the time of the addition of the style. The first half of the XII dynasty, marked by the sharp class struggle, the clash of the pharaoh, based on a new, serviceable nobility against the old, tribal nobility, was marked by noticeable changes in all areas of ideology. These changes, perhaps, more sharply than anywhere else, affect the sculptural portrait. The newly developed typology of the portrait in the regions of Lower Egypt with a gradual increase in realistic trends can be traced back to Senusert III. Portraits of Senusert III and his son Amenemhet III mark the highest point in the development of this style of sculpture. The third stage is determined by a series of famous portraits of the named kings, including a portrait statue of Amenemhet III from the State. The Hermitage and the portrait bust of the State Museum of Fine Arts. A. Pushkin belong to the number of outstanding monuments. Peculiar realism, which boils down to sharply emphasized physiognomy, to the graphically angular, as it were the barbed treatment of form, reaches its full development here. There is a completely different interpretation of the image and another in comparison with the Ancient Kingdom organization of the person. Two-dimensional interpretation is replaced by a more three-dimensional one. The highlighted, prominent cheekbones and lower face, the more fractional development of the hollows and protruding parts, are conspicuous when considering both the bust of Amenemhet III and the wonderful statuette of the scribe. In the fourth and final period of the development of the art of the Middle Kingdom, which followed the XII dynasty, there is a gradual decline. Not always successful and languid repetition of the previous art are sculptures of the period of the XIII dynasty.
Significant social changes, emerging in the era of the Middle Kingdom, much changed in its ideology, especially in sculpture.
When you look at the stone portraits of Senusert III, imbued with unapproachable pride, you precisely read the hymns that have come down to us, where this pharaoh is praised, who for many centuries left the glory of the warrior after him. The main tone of these literary works is the rhetoric, which sounds no less loud in plastic. This is why, despite all realistic possibilities that have grown immeasurably in comparison with the Ancient Realm, this peculiar rhetoric also contains a kind of conventionality, elation, and underlined typing.
We can not draw a precise line between the portraits of Amenemhet III and his father, despite a number of distinctive shades, for we are dealing here with a different order, but still a typological portrait. The realistic features appear more clearly in this typology and are explained, among other reasons, by the changed nature of religious ideas. Our Soviet science owes much to M.E. Mathieu in clarifying the artistic appearance of this or that sculpture, depending on her religious and magical function, which underwent social changes. So in this case. M. E. Mathieu pointed to the new designation of the temple sculptures of the Middle Kingdom. She wrote: “They did not already serve as a dwelling for the double” Ka “, replacing the body in case of its damage, they were now a monument that glorified the living ruler of the country. In this entirely new appointment, a step of paramount importance is made, which has made great opportunities for the further development of the royal sculpture and opened the way for court painters to a certain liberation from the iconographic tradition that held them down. ” And further: “The task was to create a realistic royal portrait.” We have already made a reservation to this type of realism.
It should be added to what has been said that the composition of the royal portrait style was undoubtedly influenced by private sculpture. The instruction of M.O. Mathieu and here on the pair group of the priest Shoteyaebra-ankh and his son Nebpu, who served as prototypes of the sculptures of the pharaohs, especially the second half of the XII dynasty, must be taken into account. The number of earlier monuments with such an acute portrait, filling the gap from the Ancient to the Middle Kingdom, can now be increased, confirming and deepening the historical continuity.
It is also necessary to take into account the trail left on the official court art “nedges” by the middle classes of the Egyptian population, whose ideology played an unconditionally important role
the creation of a socially contradictory and very complex sculpture of the Middle Kingdom. All the shifts that were outlined had a clear impact on the style of the sculpture of Pharaoh Amenemhet III.
The statuette is preserved to the waist. The direction of the left arm, broken off below the elbow and, undoubtedly, lying on the knees bent at right angles, indicates the original composition of the sitting figure. Before us is a first-class monument, which BA Turaev in his essentially only inventory description, rightly considers “one of the best items of the collection.” The reign of Amenemhet III, who succeeded his father, the famous conqueror Senusert III, was marked by a flourishing economic activity. His name is associated with large irrigation works in the Fayum oasis and the creation of the Labyrinth, noted by ancient authors. The seal of great volitional tension and tremendous energy is written on his face, so similar to the famous portraits of his father. The similarity is so great that it allows us to talk about a typological portrait, the collective image of Senusert III-Amenemhet III, which was noted by a number of researchers. Monument to the State. Museum of Fine Arts stands, no doubt, among the best world portraits of Amenemchet III, stored in the State. The Hermitage and other museums.
At the same time, it also marks the highest phase of the development of the court royal portrait of the period of the XII dynasty, which begins with a series of monuments of Amenemhet I. On the stylistic path of this development, one can in turn design three stages within the sculpture of the period of the 12th dynasty. The first of them is marked by our statuette of Senusert I or Amenemhet II (No. 4976). Organization of the form of the face here is already different in comparison with the portraits of the Ancient Kingdom. The eyes are strongly shaded, the general characteristic is more expressive, but the generality of the shape, especially of the broad cheeks, still resembles the old one. The statuette of the scribe is characterized by the subsequent, so to speak, intermediate stage of the portrait art of the time of Senusert II. The face took a more oval shape, eyes narrowed. However, the person has not undergone yet that fractional development of the form, which was outlined only in the portraits of Senusert III and Amenemhet III. For the first time the face received a pathetic expression, which was so pronounced in the sculptures of Senusert III.
The sharp graphic manner of shaping the form has replaced the earlier more planar processing. In the published portrait of Amenemchett III with his stern expression on his face, cheekbones emerge strongly, bags under the eyes and protruding lips with a slightly prominent chin are emphasized. Narrow, as if squinting eyes with swollen eyelids complement the characteristic of this face, not sustained in wide planes, as it was before, but, on the contrary, consisting of sharp, angular and strongly shaded forms. With all this, comparing this portrait with the firmly attested portraits of Senusert III, you can also see some difference: what was expressed with extreme severity in the portraits of Senusert III was somewhat relaxed in the sculptural heads of Amenemhet III. And in our portrait facial features are relaxed. There is a flow of volumes, smoothing of sharp angles with a very careful glossy polishing of the stone.
Attribution is formed not only from stylistic analysis. After the well-known studies that established the defining signs for claves and ureis in the royal portraits of the period of the XII dynasty, we can date with the same certainty, starting from the given iconography, our monument. The shape of the urei, the pattern of strips on the dangling and lateral triangular parts of the claft, the narrow strip on the forehead and other signs leave no doubt in the sculptural portrait of Pharaoh Amenemhet III.
Finally, it should be noted that the published monument entered the history of world science, since, starting from it and another portrait statue located in the State. The Hermitage, our Russian scientist V. S. Golenishchev, half a century ago, could make his discovery on the dating of the Tanis Sphinxes. Attribution VS Golenishchev firmly established by science and in no way shaken by the subsequent, slightly wealthy theory of J. Capar.
Table. 10-I. The head of the queen. Inventory number 1013. Age of the Middle Kingdom. Time of the Pharaohs of Senusert III-Amenemhet III, XIX century BC. e. Red with pestrinoy granite. Height 16 cm

The portrait head from the statue of an unknown tsarina entered the State. Museum of Fine Arts in 1924. The monument is a magnificent example of the royal female portrait of the Middle Kingdom. The head of the queen is decorated with the so-called Gatoric wig, which originated in the Middle Kingdom era, which we see in most cases in the later images on the heads of the goddess Gator, capitals of the columns. In the Middle Kingdom era, we, in essence, meet with two variants of this wig. In its classic form, this wig is given in both heads of Queen Nofret, the wife of Senusert II, from the museum in Cairo or, for example, in the head of the queen from the collection of the National Library in Paris. Here, this very massive wig, intercepted by horizontally moving hoops or ribbons, falls in front on the chest with two symmetrically spiraling twisting ends. These in some cases preserved spiral curls are repulsed in the head of the Museum of Fine Arts. However, the places of their break in granite are clearly visible. Attention is also drawn to the complete coincidence of the contour lines of the dangling ends of the wig in all three mentioned monuments. Both lines of the outline are not parallel. In the middle, the hanging massive end of the wig seems to swell, thickening, while the contour line running from the ear falls not obliquely but obliquely, cutting a part of the neck diagonally.
Even more similarity of the wig on the head from the Museum of Fine Arts with the heads of Nofret and the Queen from the National Library in Paris is found when all these monuments are compared on the side. At the same time, an unusually strong transverse expansion is observed, a wig very massive in shape is attached to the occipital part of the head. A variety of such a wig is as massive with the bend of both strands, but evenly trimmed wigs from the ends, framing, for example, the head of a princess from a temple in Deir el-Bahri or an unknown queen from the Berlin museum.
Finally, the indication that the queen is represented in the monument of the Museum of Fine Arts, and not a private person, gives the preserved uraeus. As for the wigs that intercept the whole wig, they are less clear and constructive in our monument than, for example, in the heads of Nofret. The circle of analogies involved here allows us to define this queen’s head in artistic and stylistic terms.
The monument refers to that final phase of the development of the portrait of the period of the XII dynasty, which comes after Senusert II. In this respect, the head from the Museum of Fine Arts is closer to the head of the queen from the National Library, dating from the time of Amenemhet III, and also to the head of the queen from the museum in Berlin. The earlier round face oval, typical for portraits before Senusert II, as in the same Nofret, is replaced by an oval one. The incision of the eyes, narrower, as if squinting, is so characteristic of the portraits of Senusert III-Amenemchett III. The great masculinity of the head from the Museum of Fine Arts brings it closer to the head of the queen from Berlin. The small mouth, typical of the portraits of Senusert II and Nofret, is replaced in the head from the Museum of Fine Arts by a wide section of the mouth of the portraits of Senusert III and Amenemhet III. The lips in our monument seem even exaggeratedly large. Finally, we should pay attention to one more feature that characterizes all portraits of the second half of the XII dynasty without exception. When looking at the face in the profile, a strongly protruding lower part of the face strikes the eye, especially the somewhat raised upper lip. When we compare the head of the queen with the head of Amenemhet III of our congregation to this profile, this identical pattern of the lips appears with special clarity. All convinces that the typology of portraits, so characteristic of the time of Senusert III-Amenemhet III, is given with great expressiveness in the published monument. Seal gloom and severity imbued with the face of the queen, the sharp and graphic style that distinguishes the best portraits of the century. The monument was published by me together with another earlier sculptural portrait from the collection of the State Museum of Fine Arts.

Table. 12-a. A statuette of a standing woman. Inventory number 5124. The Age of the Middle Kingdom. Period XII of the dynasty. XIX century BC. e. Gray granite with black pestrinami. Height 14 cm

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 12a. A statuette of a woman. Middle Kingdom. Period XII of the dynasty. XIX century. BC. e. Granite.

Legs of figurines are broken off below the knees, behind the cant. The figure is dressed in a long, tight-fitting dress, hands tightly pressed to the body. BA Turaev pointed to the “badly made inscription”, placed in front: “The lawful wife, daughter Ptah …”. The characteristic features of a face with features of a portrait and a wig leave no doubt in the possession of the monument to the era of the Middle Kingdom. About this wig, which also adorns the head of the Queen of our congregation, was mentioned in the text to Table. 10-11. This massive wig, intercepted by transversely running ribbons and ending in front with two symmetrically twisting spirals, occurs in the Middle Kingdom era, often on the heads of queens. Such a characteristic severe expression, sharp features, especially emphasized cheekbones specify the dating. Before us – an indisputable portrait type of the period of the XII dynasty. Our monument has close analogies with figurines 473 and 474 of the Cairo Museum.
In the last statuette, the fully developed forms of the portrait of the period of the XII dynasty are particularly clearly expressed.

Table. 12-6. A statuette of a man. Inventory number 5123. Age of the Middle Kingdom. XX century BC. I. Feldspar porphyry. Height 6.7 centimeters

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 12 b. A statuette of a man. Middle Kingdom. XX century. BC. e. A rock.

The man is depicted sitting on the ground with his knees high, in that special pose, which is often called a cube-shaped composition. The whole figure is encased in the right cube, from which, as it were, only the head grows in a long, wig-covered wig. The big back of the cube and the upper left side of the face are repulsed. From the front, both cartouches of Pharaoh Amenemhet I were preserved. If the whole figurine corresponds to the inscriptions on time, then we must recognize in it one of the earliest images of this composition in the shape of a cup so common in the sculpture of the epoch of the New Kingdom and, in the Saiss period. The shape of the wig of our monument, so common in the Sai plastic, is rare: in the sculpture of the Middle Kingdom. It is interesting to note, however, that a similar wig frames the heads of the priests of Shotepiebra-Ankh and his son of the Nebpu-sculptural group, also dated the end of the reign of Amenemhet I or the beginning of the reign of Senusert.
Table “13-14. A statuette of a man. Inventory No. 5129. Age of the Middle Kingdom. Period XII of the dynasty. XIX-XVIII century BC. e. Green basalt. Height 32 cm

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 13. A statuette of a man. Middle Kingdom. XIX-XVIII centuries. BC. e. Basalt.

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 14. A statuette of a man. Middle Kingdom. XIX-XVIII centuries. BC. e. Basalt.

The monument of excellent preservation, made a first-class master and, undoubtedly, can be considered one of the outstanding works of Egyptian small plastic arts museum collection. An excellent description of the statuette and dating it during the period of the XII dynasty are given by VK Malmberg, with which one must agree. BA Turaev specified the inscription, having found in the later and “crudely scratched inscription a funeral formula in favor of the scribe of the scribe Amon Yahmos who had appropriated himself.”
In the statuette there is an eye-catching treatment, especially the polishing of the stone, with its glossy surface forcing to recall the later sculptures of the Sais period. The portrait head with its elongated skull and sharply emphasized features of a straight, long nose, cheek cheeks and large ears is also remembered. The interpretation of a stern and dry face, undoubtedly, is made in the manner of plastics of the period of the XII dynasty. The analogy of the monument with the statue of Sebekesmaufa from the museum in Vienna, given by VK Malmberg, seems also convincing, taking into account all the stylistic differences indicated by this author. For our part, let’s add that if both monuments approach each other, mainly in the shape of a long, as though inflated apron, they are very different in portrait terms. The confluence once again convinces us of the belonging of our figurine to the portrait typology of the period of the XII dynasty, while the portrait of Sebekemsauf characterizes the later style.
There is, however, another monument with which our sculpture has much more similar features. It is a statuette dating from the same period.
A somewhat different position of the hands, resting on the forehead in front of the grandee Tetu, does not change the state of affairs. The style of both figurines, especially in portrait characteristics, is very close.

Table. 15-16. A statuette of a seated scribe. Inventory No. 5125. Age of the Middle Kingdom. The time of Pharaoh Senusert II. XIX century BC. e. Granite. Height 15 cm

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 16. Sitting scribe. Middle Kingdom. Profile.

The publisher of this monument BA Turaev called the statuette a seated reader. The fact is that the iconography of such statuettes was refined. In one case, a man sitting on the ground with crossed legs holds a scroll of papyrus on both knees with both hands, as in the monument given here.
To the same type belongs and a reader of the era of the Old Kingdom. This is actually the type of reader, as opposed to the scribe clamping in the fingers of his right hand a stick for writing, as, for example, in the famous statue of the Louvre. Noting these two varieties, equally common, hardly, however, it is necessary to introduce different terms for their designation.
Our scribe is a first-class monument of small, portrait plastics of the Middle Kingdom era. The head of the statuette is framed by a long wig, treated with straight, rigid lines and falling from behind to the shoulders, leaving open highly eared ears. The whole figure is very expressive. The wrinkled old face perfectly harmonizes with the flabby transferred body, the sagging breasts and the stoop of the whole figure. The hunchedness of a person sitting on the ground is especially well perceived when viewed from the side. The opposite of the style of portrait sculpture of the Middle Kingdom era compared with the Ancient shows the comparison of our monument with the above-described statuette of the scribe on Table. 1. An abstract type of scribe of the Old Kingdom, even in the developed, but always rigged pyramidal composition of the scribes, changed in a more vital way. In search of acute physiognomy, the art of the Middle Kingdom likes to emphasize the age of a person in a portrait, and, since successive portrait types throughout the XII dynasty are well developed, one can try to clarify and date the published monument.
As it seems to me, our scribe easily fits into the portrait art of the time of Senusert II. In his face, there is not that slightly simplified manner, that strong cloudiness of the eyes due to the deep eye holes, which characterize the portraits of Amenemhet I-Senusert I. On the other hand, the cheeks are still sufficiently generalized without a whine, without a fractional and always angular treatment of the whole face , which appear later, in the portraits of Senusert III-Amenemhet III. This late type is in this case in its, so to speak, embryo. The face has already become ovoid, eyes have narrowed, a certain shade of gloom appeared, as in other portraits of the time of Senusert II, without the characteristic, at the same time, severe patheticism, which also distinguishes our portrait of Amenemhet III.
Three monuments are the closest analogies to our scribe: Cairo Museum statue No. 480, statue of St. Nofra from New York and a statue of Sebek-em-In in the Vienna Museum. The last two monuments are convincingly dated by the time of Senusert II. Especially close to our scribe, right up to the coincidence in detail, with the statue of Sat-S-Nofru: the same motif of cutting a wig, the same landing of the ear, the same interpretation of the eyes, cheeks and the same meaningfulness of the whole image. Our monument certainly belongs to the number of outstanding works of small sculpture of the Middle Kingdom.

A special place among other genres of sculpture is wooden small plastic, which became so widespread in the Middle Kingdom era. Its main feature is a much greater freedom of image, deviation from ordinary canons and a bias towards the genre motif, which distinguish this peculiar kind of plastic from the official sculpture of the pharaohs, priests and nobles. Of course, that the departure from the ordinary canons must be understood with reservations, because such figures are painted in traditional, laid for male and female figures, tone; they are characterized by frontality and much more, typical for the official cult, temple and funeral plastics. And yet, we will not find anywhere such a lively and direct transfer of reality, whole scenes of a genre character, conveyed by means of sculpture, sometimes naive and amusing, but always true and warmed by the live stream of folk art. Multifigured compositions and individual figures of porters and maids, bakers and brewers depicted servants who accompanied their master to the tomb, into an imaginary afterlife to perform the corresponding work. Most of this sculpture comes from private tombs, the walls of which were covered with equally diverse and stylistically echoing scenes. Here, for example, one of these multi-figure compositions of the Cairo Museum. In the pavilion the owner of the tomb sits with his approximate; He surveys his possessions, numerous shepherds drive herds of cows. The colors are bright and colorful. Figures are arranged in different poses and movements. No less curious is the sculptural composition of a home concert from the same museum, or a very diverse multi-figure group representing the kitchen, in the museum of Copenhagen. Not always such figures are included in common groups. Sometimes these are single figures, and besides not mass-craft order, but highly artistic work. Such, for example, is our statuette of a walking Egyptian with his gilded necklace and bracelets.
Interest in the described genre of small wooden sculpture appeared already in the art of the era of the Old Kingdom. An example is a series of multi-figured compositions from the period of the Sixth Dynasty from the Cairo Museum. This kind of plastic flourished in the period of the 11th-12th dynasties of the Middle Kingdom. This is indicated by such masterpieces as both statuettes of bearers of gifts in the Louvre. The indisputable contribution of our Soviet science is the observations of M. E. Mathieu, who established the characteristic features of individual art schools in Egypt, where different images of wooden sculpture arose. More than in other types of sculpture, it is on the addition of this genre of wooden small plastic that the influence of the “non-jesses” of the middle layers of the population, which played a role in the composition of the society of the Middle Kingdom, affected.
Wooden figurines were made as a whole piece of wood, and from individual parts. The figure was usually covered with a layer of knocking, on top of which the painting was done.

Table. 17 – 18. A group of scribes going by. Inventory number 5872. Age of the Middle Kingdom. End of III – beginning. II millennium BC. e-tree. Height 35 cm
Only two figures survived, only the feet left from the extreme right. We must agree with BA Turaev about the handicraft nature of the monument. Figures in all respects are usual and traditional. Color of own hair and eyebrows black, belts white with a red cut line in front. The color of the body is also completely canonical: brownish-brick-red. The most interesting figure is an average scribe carrying an armpit written device in the form of an oblong box-pencil case. It shows an image of two circles: depressions for black and red colors. Such a written device (No. 1771a) is kept in the collection of the Pushkin Museum.

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 18. Walking scribes. Middle Kingdom. End of the III-beginning of the II millennium BC. e.

Table. 19. A figurine of a porter. Inventory No. 4768. Age of the Middle Kingdom. The end of III-nach. II millennium BC. e. Tree. Height 36 cm
The monument is much worse preserved than a group of scribes. The right leg has suffered, the left one has been almost completely lost, just like the usual brick-red paint of the body. A very wide face is very worn out. Like the walking scribes, the white apron does not reach the knees, and the red thin line shows a cut on the front. On the right hand, a hole that indicates the original load. In Egyptian wooden plastics, they often resorted to such appendages. The closest analogy to this monument is a porter from a museum in Cairo, dating from an earlier period of the Sixth Dynasty. The pose, however, is somewhat different here. The Cairo figurine has a double luggage-a peculiar suitcase behind the back, holding on the straps, and a wonderful, richly ornamented box-box, which the porter supports with one right hand in front of his chest. In our figure of the servant both hands are bent at the elbows and thrown back. The difference has a qualitative effect. Cairo porter is a highly artistic specimen of wooden plastics with a very bright and colorful coloring. Our monument is a craft product. It is possible that the statuette comes from a whole sculptural group, interestingly conceived in everyday terms. The figurine of the porter is archaic. If it was made in the era of the Middle Kingdom, then in its earliest period.
Table. 20. A statuette of a walking man. Inventory number 4765.
Age of the Middle Kingdom. The end of III-nach. II millennium BC.
Tree. Height 24 cm
Going is depicted in a traditional pose with the left foot forward. There is a black coloring of hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, white apron. On the hands of gold bracelets, worse preserved gilt necklace. Front apron, descending below the knees, has the shape of a trapezoid. A similar kind of aprons we meet already in the statuettes of the Ancient Kingdom, as evidenced by at least a statuette of the Egyptian No. 236 from the museum in Cairo.
As an analogy of the apron in the art of the Middle Kingdom, we point out the famous statue of Nahti in the Louvre. Describing our monument, BA Turaev pointed out: “The work is thorough”, with which one can not but agree. Compared with other wooden figurines of the same genus (walking scribes, Table 18), performed by handicraft, the monument described is made much thinner.


Among other funerary equipment, the boat models played an important role. As most Egyptologists believe, these models symbolized the travel of the deceased to Abydos for the worship of the chief deity of the dead, Osiris. Some researchers see the prototypes of these images already in art before the dynastic period, as, for example, at the famous fresco in Hieraconopolis, on the sheath of the archaic period, in the drawings there are many oar barrels made
paint red-brown color, in archaic models of boats made of clay and ivory, now in the Oxford Museum.
However, most wooden models of boats we are interested in belong to the transition period from the Ancient to the Middle Kingdom and, especially, to the developed art of the Middle Kingdom era. In one case we see the owner of the tomb standing on the boat of the sarcophagus; in the other, he sits under the canopy, surrounded by servants; sometimes the boat is given with raised sails. Very diverse interpreted figures of oarsmen. So, on one of the models from the museum in Copenhagen, dating from the period of the VIII dynasty, we see the sails folded, on the other boat from the same tomb of sail, on the contrary, are raised, and the rope attracting the rope is very diverse in poses and movements. In a graceful and elongated stylized papyrus stalk, dated by the period of the 13th dynasty, from the same Copenhagen Museum, the owner of the boat sits under a canopy, among other figures depicts his wife.
Even more curious is the model of the boat from the tomb of Mektyra at the end of the 11th dynasty, from Deir al-Bahri, now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The monument for its artistic merits can be considered one of the best in this genre. In the cabin under the awning there is placed the bed of the owner of the tomb. The canopy accurately reproduces the drawing of Egyptian mats. Linen sails are raised, and the numerous crew of the ship is given in all variety of living and real movements. In a word, in this kind of sculpture we come across the same genre of multi-figure small wooden plastics, to which also belong the numerous compositions of the servants mentioned above. Perhaps, even more than in other similar compositions, the artist of the Middle Kingdom, not associated with the cold etiquette of official and court sculpture, was imbued here with the taste of folk art, creating art alive and direct. Of course, as in other cases, we must accept this immediacy with the appropriate reservations. All these numerous figures of servants and oarsmen on boats are subject to the canons binding on Egyptian art. And yet, through the rules of the canon, the living stream of creativity breaks through here more than in the wall paintings and reliefs of the tombs, which acquaint us with the most diverse and genre scenes of ancient Egyptian life. As in other types of Egyptian art with its canonization of the plot, in the models of boats we meet masters of various levels. Some do not go beyond the limits of precise and meticulous observance of the rules, others (like the master of the boat from Deir al-Bahri) achieve masterpieces, remaining in the traditions of the same art.
The two boat models published here are not identical in their artistic quality. The earlier one bears the seal of the craft, the later one is executed by the skilful artist of the second half of the Middle Kingdom.

Table. 21. Model of the boat. Inventory № 5363. The Age of the Middle Kingdom. The beginning of the II millennium BC. e. Tree. DL. 102 cm.

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 21. Model of the boat. Middle Kingdom. The beginning of the II millennium BC. e. Tree.

The monument is well preserved, only one of the oarsmen partially lost their hands. Preserved and the original coloring: dark chestnut with a shade of purple body color of all the figures, black color-on round, small wigs, white-on short aprons and mottled ornament on the ribbon bordering the entire boat, pediment and cabin doors. Both ends of the stern and nose of the boat end with the heads of rams. The mast is not preserved, but the hole is shown about the place of the pole, closer to the bow of the boat.
The cabin is the form of a stall typical for Egypt, which we know well in civil architecture and whose elements are found in temple architecture and in small forms, for example, the Naos. In this kiosk-cabin there is a sitting figure, probably the owner of the boat, the remaining eight sailors are given in action.
The figure of the helmsman and the man on the nose, throwing the load of anchors, is interesting. In contrast to the inactive figures on the next boat, the statuettes of this monument are marked by a pronounced movement. This is especially true for two seated rowers, almost lying on the oars.
No less expressive and standing rowers, especially the first pair of oarsmen, leaning the whole body forward in the course of the boat. In this monument there is less story, interest in the fascinating plot, but its quality is incomparably higher in comparison with the early rook No. 5364.
The figures are slender, the proportions are elongated, which is echoed by the general elongated silhouette of the boat, somewhat resembling the equally graceful silhouette of a boat ending with stylized papyrus stems from the museum in Copenhagen. The last monument is dated by this museum in the period of the XII-XIII dynasty.
Our boat model also applies, in any case, to a very developed period of art in the Middle Kingdom.
Table. 22. Model of the boat. Inventory No. 5364. Early period of the Middle Kingdom. The end of the III millennium BC. e. Tree. Dl. 89 cm.

Egyptian sculpture

Table. 22. Model of the boat. Middle Kingdom. The end of the III millennium BC. e. Tree.

The monument is relatively well preserved. Partially lost the sides of the boat and individual pieces of some figures. Sometimes the paint disappeared, the faces of a number of sailors were erased. All the figures are painted in a traditional brownish-brick color. The figure of the helmsman has a darker shade. On the heads of black short round wigs, known to us already in the Ancient Kingdom. The aprons, descending below the knees, retained the white paint. The boat has 13 figures. Near the pole of the mast is a man holding a tight rope, as indicated by his gesture and hole in the palms of his hands. Preserved paddle on the steering wheel and a figure of the helmsman with arms outstretched forward. On the aft there is a sarcophagus covered with a lid. Of the eight oarsmen six are standing, two are sitting, and although the oars are not preserved, but the position of all oarsmen clearly indicates the action taking place. Curiously, almost all the figures are bearded. All figurines are made from a single piece of wood, except for the hands inserted on the pins. The plot is opened vividly and very entertaining, all the details of the action are visually shown. Before us is a typical example of a small, wooden sculpture with its interest in the smallest details of everyday life, to a living and imaginative story. With all this, the monument is made rude and handicraft. Figures are awkward and very summed up, proportions are shortened. It is hardly possible to see archaism in all this. The monument is undoubtedly of a rather early origin, at least not later than the period of the II dynasty, by the time of which it is customary to include the Mentukhotep rook in common with our monument. Rather, the model of the boat described should be moved to an even earlier period, to which a whole series of the above boats belongs.

The era of the New Kingdom came after the suppression of the rule of the Hyksos, who had ruled Egypt for a long time. In pursuit of the Hyksos, Egyptian kings open up a long series of campaigns that were given to the powerful Egyptian power of the era of the New Kingdom of the country of the Near East. Not only the states of the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea are subject to the newly strengthened Egyptian slavery despotism, but also the island states, like Crete, are rushing to engage in close relations with Egypt. Long rows of peoples “Keftiu” in unusual costumes for Egypt carry previously unknown luxury vessels as gifts to Egyptian pharaohs on frescoes from the tombs of Senmut, Rehmir. The conquest of Nubia, which was extremely important for Egyptian imports, also takes on an unprecedented scale in the Middle Kingdom. Under these circumstances, the ancient oriental international situation, the Egyptian military elite, which relied Pharaohs in their countless campaigns, and on the other hand, the part of the slave-owning class in the face of the priesthood, which created a halo around the Institute of imperial power, contributed to addition of new forms of ideology, palace life, prestige of the tsarist power. Hardly better than other sources say about this hymn dedicated to one of the greatest warriors, Thutmose III of, and invested in the mouth of the Theban god Amun, “I gave you the power and victory over all the countries I have circulated your glory everywhere, fear of you to four pillars of the sky. I bound you for tens of thousands, Asians, hundreds of thousands and threw your enemies under your sandals … The land in length and breadth, West and East, is subject to you … “, then, after a number of refrains, the peoples of Mitanni are mentioned in the hymn , as well as the islands of Crete and Cyprus. The priesthood, as the main ideological support of the tsar, is unusually enriched. The landownership of Karnak, Luxor and other temples is growing, an unprecedented scale is taken by temple construction. It is important to emphasize that the upbeat tone, rhetoric of the cited anthem from the same Karnak temple fully meet the monumental aspirations of the temple architecture. This monumentality takes a different form than in the previous periods of Egyptian art. It turns out to be closely and inextricably welded to decorative aspirations. Enrichment of the slave-holding class in the conditions of the existing economy, in the conditions of the palace, representation, entails the pursuit of luxury and elegance. These traits show through in everything: in long dresses, covered with a thin pattern of folds, such as our sculptural group of a married couple, in the long lush wigs, architectural ornaments and forms columns in drawings and reliefs on the things of applied art.
The combination of these features of monumental and decorative principles we see in the paired statuettes published here, especially on women’s. Particular, as in this case, the role played by materials, love of precious wood, ivory and gold.
It was the art of the era of the New Kingdom that created that particularly refined style of small plastic, in particular a wooden female statuette, made in black wood. In different parts of the book, much has been said about the unity of the principle of monumentality and decorativeness in Egyptian plastics, which do not depend on the size of the figure. But in the small plasticity of the New Kingdom there is also a special quality of decorativeness and sophistication, as, for example, in the statues of priestess Rannai and her husband.
Table. No. 23-29. Paired statuettes of the priest Amenhotep and the priestess of “singer Amon” Rannai. Inventory number 2099. Age of the New Kingdom, the time of Pharaoh Thutmose I. XVI century BC. e. Ebony. High. 40-39 cm.
Both figurines are made by one, undoubtedly, an outstanding artist. Monuments belong to the number of masterpieces of Egyptian art. Their value increases from a well-preserved inscription, mainly on the plinths of both figurines. These inscriptions, containing the cartouches of Pharaoh Thutmose I, were first published by BA Turaev, who read the names of the “first priests of Amenhotep” and “singer Amon Rannai”. Both figurines are made in black wood, with the addition of a knock, from which the priest’s clothes are made. His head was shaved; Some parts of the figure, such as hands, are cut from separate pieces of wood with a clear designation of the seam at the place of attachment. In the pedestal there are two rectangular shaped grooves, where the legs of the statuette are inserted. The same fastening is also observed in the female figure, executed separately from the pedestal. The feet of Amenhotep’s feet are lost. Pyramid-shaped, like a starched and knee-length apron is made of a knock and topped with silver. This clothing is held on one shoulder strap, thrown over the left shoulder.
The most noticeable crack crosses diagonally the apron. Eyes are encrusted. The figure of Rannai is made, minus the wig, from one piece of wood and without the addition of gypsum. Closely fitting body dress is also silver-plated, representing the usual kind for Egypt of a sundress with two breasts closing breasts. A long wig of tightly braided and fractured ornamental braids consisted of three strands, two of which fall in front, reaching the chest, the third one descends on its back. The right strand is lost, the hole on the side shows the place of its attachment. In addition to the wig, a part of a separate braid has been preserved, framing the forehead and the oval of the face to the left. Clearly visible and double tape, walking along the wig lengthwise from the forehead to the nape. Rannai’s hands are decorated with gold-plated wrists, a neck and chest-wide, a gold necklace of six stripes with fringed pendants. It should be noted and three-striped folds on the dress, put on by light, straight lines. The same treatment of folds is given on the apron of a man. Equally with her husband are encrusted in a statuette of Rannai and the eyes. In the figure of Rannai, the right side of the necklace and partly the left hand brush are not preserved. Insignificant losses do not reduce the impression created by these wonderful statuettes. Proceeding from the hierarchy of the priests of the temple of Amun, studied and established by the Egyptologists, it is possible to think that Amenhotep, called the “first”, was the eldest of the two priests who headed the entire numerous corporation of the priests of the temple. The name Amenhotep is also referred to as “the elder prince of Imiurt”, which was attracted by BA Turaev. Therefore, before us is one of the most important persons, after the pharaoh, from which it appears that an outstanding artist was undoubtedly involved in the execution of the statuette of Amenhotep. The high artistic quality of the monument, as well as the pair figure of Rannai, is clear at the first glance at the figurines. The hand of one master who performed both sculptures is also obvious. In A. Erman’s study, we find indirect data on Rannai. The author writes about the corporation of priestesses at the temple of Amun, called “singers”. This large corporation was headed by a woman, usually the wife of a high priest. Above her stood only a woman who took on the wife of a deity and came from the royal family. The first of the deified queens known to us and similarly deified in the era of the New Kingdom was the queen Ahmozenofritarian-the wife of Yakhmos I. In the Louvre sculpture album it is spoken of as a deified queen, who took her place among the local deities of the Theban necropolis in honor of the victory of her husband, the first pharaoh of the New the kingdom that expelled the Hyksos from Egypt.
Thus, Rannai-one of the first women of the Pharaoh’s court, turns out to be very close to the queen Ahmosenofrity. But this closeness is not limited by time. Rannai also resembles stylistic features with a Louvre statuette and a statue of a queen from the Turin Museum. In the last two monuments, the same elongation of proportions and especially conical narrowing of the whole figure down, the same pose bent, pressed to the chest of the left hand and vertically falling along the body of the right, the same wig consisting of tightly braided braids, divided into three strands. It is very important to note the portrait typology of Rannai. It is characterized by a number of signs, available in a few and close on time female statuettes. Let’s name the statue of Queen Tetischer from the British Museum and the almost all researchers of the waist portrait of a girl from the Berlin Museum. The first of these monuments, depicting the grandmother of Pharaoh Ahmose I, dates from the period of the XVIII dynasty, the second refers to about 1500 BC. e. This dating seems to me convincing, based on a comparison of the last monument with our Rannai, firmly dated according to the inscription about the same time. The faces of both figures are decorated with the same wig, up to the equally ornamented separate braid framing the forehead and the face oval.
The typology of a person with a profiled profile noted by VK Malmberg, with a small chin and very gentle, without undue underscoring of convex parts, is also identical. So, the image of Rannai easily fits into the circle of monuments of the very beginning of the XVIII dynasty close to it. But its roots go back to the art of the Middle Kingdom, as is easily seen by comparing the statue of Rannai, for example, with the statue of Imeret-Neb from the museum in Leiden. Both monuments are still fairly hieratic. Take, for example, the motif stretched out in the palms of his right hand at Rannai’s. This motif we meet not only in Imeret-Neb, but almost in all female statuettes of the Middle Kingdom era. On the contrary, in a whole series of subsequent wooden statuettes of the same type, for example, in Nai, Queen Tia of the Louvre or in the Henet-Tui statuette from the Cairo Museum, a hand hanging along the body is clenched into a fist. Not only this motif, but also a more magnificent dress with emphasis on all the details, especially in the Cairo statuette of Henet-Tui, dated by the time of Amenhotep III, makes us comprehend the whole image in a more genre and realistic way. Rannai seems to be more conventional, simpler, and at the same time more hieratic, more solemn than the subsequent statuettes.
Similarly, Rannai’s husband, priest Amenhotep, being a typical example of the plasticity of the New Kingdom, can not be torn from his prototypes, for example, from the wooden statue of Nakhti from the period of the XII dynasty from the Louvre Museum.
Our paired statuettes are unique monuments of their kind, counted in units of small plastic, which came to us from the early period of the XVIII dynasty.