This wooden sculpture is one of the finest examples of a representation of a non-royal person, dating from the Middle Kingdom of Egyptian culture.We know her name from the inscription on the pedestal. The statue represents an aristocratic lady wearing a finely woven linen robe and has an extraordinary feature in that her left leg is put one step forward, for the rules of Egyptian art dictated that women ought to be represented with their feet close together.
The loose wig with which she is fitted out is obviously too big for her head. It is possible that it was taken from a bigger statue and that she wore a smaller wig before. This head-dress is a work of art in itself: it consists of little plaits held together by a ribbon. The statue’s arms were made separately and attached with wooden pins.
Various details of the statue, like the eyes, the lines of make-up, the eyebrows and the thongs of the sandals were executed in glazed material. The pupils are ringed with bronze. Remarkably, the legs and feet are rather crude, a carelessness seen more often in Egyptian statues dating from that period. Imertnebes was a lady of high standing, bearing a title which would later be reserved for princesses who were high-priestesses in the service of Amon, the supreme god of Thebes.


  • Title: Statue of the priestess Imertnebes
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: -1991/-1783
  • Location: Thebe, Egypte
  • Physical Dimensions: h48 cm
  • Datering: 1991-1783 v.C.
  • Afmetingen: 48 x 9.5 x 21 cm
  • Type: statuette
  • External Link: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
  • Medium: wood ; faience ; bronze

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