Title: Tomb Relief of the Chief Physician and Royal Scribe Amunhotep and his Wife, Rennut
Date Created: about 1280 BCE
Location Created: Ancient Egypt
Physical Dimensions: w781 x h1105 mm (Complete)
Catalogue entry: Amunhotep, scribe and chief physician of the king, sits on a costly chair, his wife, the "lady of the house" Rennut, kneeling on a mat beside him. They wear layers of sheer, finely pleated linen and elaborate wigs that were fashionable early in the long reign of Rameses II (ruled 1279-1213 BCE). Rennut inhales the scent of a blue lotus, symbol of the daily rebirth of the sun (see 1983.12). Amunhotep accepts offerings of bread (flat loaves stacked vertically on the table in front of him) and prayers from a sem (mortuary) priest, wearing his ritual cheetah skin and braided lock of hair. The priest is possibly their son Iuny or their grandson Khay, both of whom inherited Amunhotep's titles and were also buried in the family tomb.The figures are carved in the fine-grained limestone in raised relief with delicate modeling that makes the most of their layers of pleated garments and intricate wigs, jewelry, and flowers. By representing Rennut kneeling, the sculptor creates the illusion of space and intimacy while preserving the proprieties of size, pose, and gesture that make it instantly clear that Amunhotep is the most important figure.The hieroglyphic inscription, in sunken relief, reads:Making a boon which the king gives for the Osiris, the royal scribe and chief lector priest Amunhotep true of voice before the Great Ennead, that they may give thee invocation offerings, bread, beer, oxen, fowl of the marshes, wine, milk and every good and pure thing on which a god lives, for thy ka [life force], the Osiris, the royal scribe and chief lector priest, the oversee of wab-priests, Amunhotep, true of voice.