Relief of Parennefer
Parennefer was a close advisor to Prince Amenhotep IV (King Akhenaten), before he became king. Once Amenhotep IV, or rather, King Akhenaten, took the throne, Parennefer served as his personal Royal Butler, and worked closely as a confidant to the king.
In the age of Akhenaten, it was Akhenaten who was the representation of Ma’at and only through him could one reach the divinity of Aten. Therefore, Parennefer, being so intimate with the king, meant he held possibly one of the most important roles in society.
With titles such as, “Washer of the King’s hands”, “The King’s Cup Bearer”…it is evident that Parennefer was an extremely trustworthy individual to the king, as such roles were vital for the king’s safety. For Akhenaten to have employed a man he knew earlier in his life to such roles, could make one believe the king felt at ease in Parennefer’s presence. Trusted with providing food and drink to the ruler of a kingdom, the role of a personal butler was a job not to be taken lightly, and would be given to only those who were deemed most trustworthy. For a king like Akhenaten, who was pursuing different avenues for the Egyptian Kingdom, and was more than likely aware of the controversies and upset he may be causing, a trustworthy butler was something absolutely necessary for his well-being.
Parennefer, was seemingly not just a butler to the king, as he also held other titles such as; “Chief Craftsman” and “Overseer of All the Works in the Mansion of Aten”. It is thought he was instrumental in helping create and impose the changes Akhenaten desired in art and architecture within his new capital city.
Parennefer is among those who were buried or supposed to buried within the Tomb of the Nobles site at Amarna. Parennefer, however, has two tombs to his name, one in Thebes, along with one in Amarna. It is believed Parennefer started to build his tomb in Thebes (TT 188), before the revolution of Akhenaten took place, thus later built another (Amarna tomb 7) in the new capital of the king. It is the latter tomb in which remnants of a scene depicting Parennefer receiving reward from the king are still present and, thus, seen above.