Standing Figure of Snefru-nofer

Unknown2450 BC - 2350 BC

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
Vienna, Austria

This statue of Snefru-nofer was discovered in 1913 in the serdab of his mastaba tomb at Giza. Inscriptions on the base of the statue and on the architrave at the entrance to his mastaba tomb record the deceased’s position at court. As “inspector of singers” and “royal supervisor of entertainments” Snefru-nofer was in charge of the musical and dance performances that formed an integral part of religious festivities and feasts. That these were prominent positions that conferred high social status is reflected in the outstanding quality of Snefru-nofer’s funerary statue.This standing statue depicts Snefru-nofer in the nude and without a wig. His muscular body bears traces of the original red colour; he wears only a - painted - collar and an amulet of which some details remain visible today. In Ancient Egypt nudity was mainly associated with childhood. This, however, is the statue of a highly-respected courtier, his youthful body contradicting the age he must have attained to be appointed to such an important court office. Here, the youthful body symbolizes the deceased’s hope of rejuvenation in the afterlife.The symmetrical composition, interrupted only by one leg placed forward, reflects the ideal of Ancient Egyptian sculpture. The deceased’s standing-walking pose does not, however, denote actual movement but only the possibility thereof. Both his ramrod-straight posture - emphasized by the high back pillar - and the artist’s efforts to avoid voids (both arms and legs are connected to the body and to the back pillar) are characteristic features. The inscriptions engraved on the base between his feet record the deceased’s name and title: ”The one honoured by the Great God, the inspector of the singers at the royal court, Snefru-nofer”. © Regina Hölzl, Meisterwerke der Ägyptisch-Orientalischen Sammlung, Wien 2007.


  • Title: Standing Figure of Snefru-nofer
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 2450 BC - 2350 BC
  • Style: Old Kingdom, late 5th Dynasty
  • Provenance: found 1912/13; 1914 donated by the Austrian Accademy of Sciences
  • Place Part Of: Egypt
  • Physical Dimensions: w237 x h780 x d285 cm (entire)
  • Inventory Number: AES 7506
  • Excavation: Giza, Western Necropolis near the Pyramid of Khufu, Mastaba of Snefru-nofer, Egypt
  • Type: sculpture
  • External Link: http://www.khm.at/en/collections/egyptian-and-near-eastern-collection/
  • Medium: Polychrome Limestone

Additional Items

Standing Figure of Snefru-nofer (Supplemental)

Standing Figure of Snefru-nofer (Supplemental)

Standing Figure of Snefru-nofer (Supplemental)

Standing Figure of Snefru-nofer (Supplemental)

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps