The Barque of Amun Arriving at the West Bank of Thebes

Twentieth Century; original New Kingdom

Charles K. Wilkinson

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 135

During the Beautiful Festival of the Valley, statues of the deities Amun, Mut, and Khonsu left Karnak temple to journey across the Nile and visit other temples. The procession also passed many private tombs, where people gathered for elaborate banquets.

At the top here, the boat of Amun with ram’s heads at each end carries a shrine that houses the deity’s statue. Though the statue of Amun was not visible, the mere sight of his golden shrine, which was usually in the restricted areas of the temple, must have been a spectacular event for the elated throng of followers. The ship has just moored and is greeted by a statue of the deified king Amenhotep I, which will join the procession. Below a bark with a statue of the deified queen Ahmose Nefertari is being dragged on a sledge.

The Barque of Amun Arriving at the West Bank of Thebes, Charles K. Wilkinson, Tempera on paper

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