A feast for Nebamun

An in-painting tour of the top half of a scene from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun

British Museum

A feast for Nebamun, the top half of a scene from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun (-1370/-1370)British Museum

An entire wall of the tomb-chapel showed a feast in honour of Nebamun. Naked serving-girls and servants wait on his friends and relatives.  

Married guests sit in pairs on fine chairs, while the young women turn and talk to each other.   

This erotic scene of relaxation and wealth­ is something for Nebamun to enjoy for all eternity.  

The richly-dressed guests are entertained by dancers and musicians, who sit on the ground playing and clapping. The words of their song in honour of Nebamun are written above them:  

The earth-god has caused
his beauty to grow in every body...
the channels are filled with water anew,
and the land is flooded with love of him.   

Some of the musicians look out of the paintings, showing their faces full-on. This is very unusual in Egyptian art, and gives a sense of liveliness to these lower-class women, who are less formally drawn than the wealthy guests. The young dancers are sinuously drawn and are naked apart from their jewellery.  

A rack of large wine jars is decorated with grapes, vines and garlands of flowers. Many of the guests also wear garlands and smell lotus flowers.  

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