Dragging a Statue of Thutmose I

Twentieth Century; original New Kingdom, Ramesside

Norman de Garis Davies

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 135

Thutmose I is represented here as a statue, as indicated by the men pulling him on a sledge. His black skin was initially understood to represent the ebony wood from which the statue was possibly made, but it most likely relates to the king’s deified state. Cults were established to worship kings during their reign. The cult of Thutmose I persisted for centuries after his death, a rare phenomenon, and this statue of the king is at the center of a scene depicting offerings and rites honoring him. Royal figures are sometimes depicted with a dark complexion, as the color black represents rebirth and regeneration–like the black soil of the Nile Valley.

Dragging a Statue of Thutmose I, Norman de Garis Davies (1865–1941), Tempera on paper

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