c. 2350-2170 B.C.
Limestone with traces of polychrome
63 x 33 in. (160 x 83.8 cm)
Purchase, 1930 (2896)
This work is believed to be one of over thirty reliefs to have come from the tomb chapel of Ni'ankhnesut at Saqqara. Ni'ankhnesut, known from inscriptions as the count or overlord of Nekheb, lived during the reign of Pharaoh Teti (2323-2291 B.C.) in the Sixth Dynasty. The hieroglyphic inscription above the figure contains part of Ni'ankhnesut's name, suggesting that this figure may be a depiction of him. The man's anatomical structure joins frontal and profile perspective and reflects the ancient Egyptian conventions of composite representation. The head and neck are in profile, but the eye, shoulders, and torso seem to have a frontal orientation. From the hips down, the figure is seen once again in profile. The pigment that remains on the surface is a reminder that this figure was once fully painted.