Relief of a Nobleman

This relief shows a beautiful, delicately carved depiction of an unknown Ancient Egyptian Nobleman, dating from the 19th or 20th Dynasty. It is believed that this fragment may have come from a tomb in Saqqara.

With the lingering of the Amarna Period artistic revolution still in memory, the Egyptian need to forget the reign of Akhenaten and his beloved Nefertiti, didn’t seem to extend to his commissioning of more fluid line work.

Relief of a Nobleman
Relief of a Nobleman

This type of gorgeously detailed fine art with that feel of breathy fluidity, went on to be seen throughout the reign of Seti I and his son Ramesses II and well into the later 20th Dynasty, as seen here.

The simplicity of the aquiline nosed profile, with a slight smile, is not overshadowed by the extravagant yet simplistic detailing of the Nobleman’s wig. You can almost smell the perfume from his hair, as you breathe in this depiction of the once alive man.

The curl of his flowing hair, and the lotus designed band, holding his hair in piece, showcases a man of status, and what’s more, showcases the absolute genius artistry of these unknown Ancient Egyptian artisans, who were creating fine art masterpieces, before such a term even existed.

The Nobleman can be seen at the Brooklyn Museum. 36.261

Such fine line work breathes life into stone through simplistic yet difficult to recreate profile line drawings, and reminds us why thousands of years after their creation, Ancient Egyptian art is still favourable among the living modern world today.