Stele of the Royal Scribe Ipi

Ancient Egypt, Second half of the 14th century BC

This stele of Ipi, "royal scribe", "right-hand fan-bearer" to the Pharaoh of Egypt, Tutankhamen, and "great overseer of the royal household", is one of the outstanding examples of Ancient Egyptian sculpture in the Hermitage. It belongs to a number of post-Amarna works, from the rule of the successors to the reformer pharaoh, Akhenaten. Almost the whole of the surface of this limestone slab is taken up by Ipi worshipping a statue of Anubis, god of embalming and protector of the dead. To the left on a throne sits the jackal-headed Anubis himself. The god's attire is caught up with a girdle, his neck is adorned with a double necklace. In his right hand, Anubis holds the symbol of life, ankh and he holds out his left hand with the uas rod to Ipi, who moves towards him. Ipi is shown in the complicated official robes - a shirt with long sleeves and a long apron. The gesture of his hands, raised in prayer, is typical of the depiction of worshippers. Anubis and Ipi are treated in different ways, emphasizing the latter's mortal status and Anubis's divinity. The figure of Ipi is more finely modelled, while the figure of Anubis is traditionally flat, the drawing of its contours being graphic and dry. Before the statue of the god of the dead is a sacrificial altar with a vessel for ritual libations and two tied lotus buds. The stele has marvellously preserved its original colour, carried out in mineral paints according to the canon set out for the decoration of statues. Anubis is set off by his traditional colours, blue and green, made from lapis-lazuli and malachite. The inscriptions on the stele contain a sacrifical formula and the name and titles of Ipi.


Stele of the Royal Scribe Ipi




95x71 cm

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