Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Artist's Sketches of Senenmut

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
Joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III
ca. 1479–1458 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes
Limestone, ink
H. 10 cm (3 15/16 in.); W. 16.5 cm (6 11/16 in.); Th. 3 cm (1 3/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift, 1931
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 116
Ostraca are chips of limestone or fragments of pottery that were used as writing surfaces by ancient Egyptian scribes, or as sketch pads by artists. Despite the lack of any identifying text, the double profile on this ostracon can easily be identified as Senenmut, one of Hatshepsut's well known courtiers. The profiles are similar to the representation of Senenmut on another ostracon in the Museum's collection (36.3.252) and to a drawing on a wall in his tomb (see additional images). On the back of this ostracon is a sketch that depicts a small rodent.
#3385. Artist's Sketches of Senenmut
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Purchased in Luxor and donated to the Museum, 1931.

Hayes, William C. 1959. Scepter of Egypt II: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part II: The Hyksos Period and the New Kingdom (1675-1080 B.C.). Cambridge, Mass.: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 109, fig. 58.

Hibbard, Howard 1980. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Harper & Row, 44, fig. 80.

Arnold, Dorothea 1995. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, new ser., vol. 52, no. 4 (Spring), New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 58, no. 78.

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