Description & Technical information
In this Egyptian New Kingdom relief, made of polychrome limestone, Ramses II is shown in profile to the right, in an image of prostration. The face is painted in red, with the eyes and eyebrow painted in makeup. The mouth which is diligently modelled leads to a false beard kept by a blue strap. He wears a yellow striped nemes, while his protruding ear, rendered by the artist with wonderful detailed carving, reveals a pierced lobe. The bottom of the pan is concealed by the right arm. In line with the Ramesside period and inherited from the Amarna improvements, the neck is incised by two creases. The neck is ornamented with a necklace and seven rows of usekh, the last engraved beads. The sovereign would have most likely been represented as kneeling whilst making an offering to a deity.
Abydos, Abidjou in ancient Egyptian, founded at the end of the predynastic period and located 70 km northwest of Thebes, is the sacred city dedicated to Osiris. The cult of Osiris begins from Dynasty XX and reached its zenith during the New Kingdom. During the 19th Dynasty, Seti I began the erection of a great temple in the south of the city which was brought to completion by Ramses II, who raised another, 300 meters from the one of his father's. The later temple was opulently ornamented with fine reliefs which have to this day retained their exceptional polychromy. The final monument produced in Abydos was a result of an order by Nectanebo I, dating to Dynasty XXX.
Medium: Polychrome limestone
Dimensions: 23 x 27 cm (9 x 10⁵/₈ inches)
Provenance: Previously belonged to the collection of Madame “P.V.”, Paris. She had inherited the piece from her great aunt who had acquired it between 1905 and 1910.
Categories: Classical & Egyptian antiquities
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