Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Stela of the Sculptor Qen worshipping Amenhotep I and Ahmose-Nefertari

New Kingdom, Ramesside
Dynasty 19
reign of Ramesses II
ca. 1279–1213 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Medina, Tomb of Qen (TT 4), König 1862
Limestone, paint
H. 37.7 cm (14 13/16 in.); W. 28.6 cm (11 1/4 in.); Th. 5.8 cm (2 5/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1959
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 122
One of the select "servants in the Place of Truth," Qen was a member of the community of arts and craftsmen responsible for building and decorating the tombs of the New Kingdom pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings. This stela was found in 1862 in Qen's tomb at the workmen's village of Deir el-Medina. Qen's titles, as recorded on the stela, were "sculptor of Amun in the Place of Truth" and "sculptor of Amun in Karnak" suggesting that he specialized in carving relief.

In the lower register of the stela, Qen, his wife Nefertari, and their two sons, Merymery and Huy, are shown paying homage to the two seated figures above. These represent Amenhotep I, second king of Dynasty 18, and his mother Ahmose-Nefertari. By Dynasty 19, these two deified members of the royal family had become patrons of the Theban necropolis and especially of the workmen and their families.
Discovered by B.W. Koenig and awarded to him by the Khedive, Said Pasha, 1860. Passed down in the family until acquired by Friedrich Hofmann. Purchased by the Museum from Hofmann, 1959.

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