Made for Northern Upper Egypt, Abydos; From Africa
H. 114.5 cm (45 1/16 in); w. 35 cm (13 3/4 in); d. 75.5 cm (29 3/4 in)
Rogers Fund, 1922
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 123
Seti I, second king of Dynasty 19, was, like his father Ramesses I, very conscious of his role in establishing a new dynasty and restoring the power and stature of Egypt among its neighbors. He campaigned in the Levant and his battle reliefs decorate the exterior walls of the huge hypostyle hall that he added to the temple of Karnak. He also reopened the gold mines in the eastern desert and Nubia. He built a beautiful mortuary temple for himself at Abydos in which was carved the famous kinglist of Abydos, as well as a mortuary temple at Thebes. In the Valley of the Kings, he built one of the most beautifully carved and decorated tombs ever made there. This kneeling statue of the king shows him making offerings to Osiris and was probably intended for his temple at Abydos. The same high artistic standards that are seen in the reliefs of Seti I are evident in this statue and the face seems to be reminiscent of earlier kings of Dynasty 18 such as Thutmose III.
The statue is inscribed on all sides. The inscription on the right reads:
nTr nfr wr DfA.w jn kA.w n nb.w tA-wr nswt-bj.tj nb tA.wi Mn-mAa.t-raw
The perfect god, great of provisions, who brings sustance to the lords of the Thinite nome, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two lands, Menmaatre (Seti I)
The inscription on the left reads:
nTr nfr wab-a.wi sHtp nTr.w tA-wr zA raw nb xa.w stX.y-mr-n-ptH
The perfect god, pure of hands, who pleases the god of the Thinite nome, son of Re, lord of crowns, Seti (I) Merenptah
The inscription on the back pillar reads:
wab a.wi Hr mz Htp n jt=f Wsjr nb tA-wr nswt-bj.tj Mn-mAa.t-raw
Pure of hands while bringing offerings for his father, Osiris, lord of the Thinite nome, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Menmaatre (Seti I)
The inscription at the front is mostly missing, and only one word appears to appear twice:
When writing the name Seti in the second text, the inscription does not write the god Seth's name but rather uses the so-called Isis knot to write the sound st.
Niv Allon 2015
Purchased from Maurice Nahman, Cairo, 1922.
Aldred, Cyril 1980. Egyptian Art in the Days of the Pharaohs, 3100-320 BC, World of Art, New York: Oxford University Press, p. 189.