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Stela of Tjenti and Nefret

A work made of limestone.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of limestone.

Date:

Old Kingdom, mid–Dynasty 4, about 2566–2532 BCE

Artist:

Egyptian; probably tomb G 3035, Giza, Egypt

About this artwork

Seated on a cushioned chair, an official named Tjenti extends his hand toward a table covered in tall loaves of bread. His wife, Nefret, strikes a similar pose opposite him. Scenes depicting families around a table laden with food for the afterlife were a standard decoration in ancient Egyptian tombs for generations. Displayed in chapels where descendants gathered to remember the dead, these images were eternal family portraits, ensuring an afterlife populated with loved ones. Here, Tjenti and Nefret are shown with their son Tjenti (standing on the right) and granddaughter Nefer-Hathor, who holds her index finger to her lips in a gesture symbolic of childhood. Following Egyptian artistic conventions, the figures are represented at different scales that denote their status within the family.

Status

On View, Gallery 50

Department

Arts of Africa

Culture

Ancient Egyptian

Title

Stela of Tjenti and Nefret

Place

Egypt (Object made in)

Date

2524 BCE–2400 BCE

Medium

Limestone

Inscriptions

The "...judge and scribe Thent" appears sitting opposite his wife. Over table listed "incense,.." below hopes for a "thousand of beer, a thousand of clothing..." The hieroglyphic texts enumerate the offerings that were desired to sustain Thenti and his family in the afterlife. In addition to food, he requests clothing, linen, incense, green and black eye paint, and material used in the embalming process.

Dimensions

55.9 × 87.6 × 11.4 cm (22 × 34 1/2 × 4 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Museum Purchase Fund

Reference Number

1920.265

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/121737/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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