Statue of Senenmut holding Neferure

This standing statue of Senenmut holding Princess Neferure, daughter of Queen Hatshepsut, seems to be unique. Most of us are familiar with the block and seated (tutor) statues of Senenmut and Neferure.

The statue was found in Karnak and was a gift from the Queen. The inscriptions are given in detail in breasted ancient records and some of the details are quite interesting. Senenmut lists his duties as Architect and it becomes clear from the inscription that his work was spread over a sizable area.

Statue of Senenmut holding Neferure, daughter of Queen Hatshepsut
Statue of Senenmut holding Neferure, daughter of Queen Hatshepsut
Photo: Diane Alexander White

Statue given by Queen

Given as a favor of the king’s-presence, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare (Hatshepsut), who is given life, to the hereditary prince, count, wearer of the royal seal, sole companion, steward of Amun, Senenmut, triumphant; in order to be in the temple of Ishru; in order to receive the plenty that comes forth from before the presence of this great goddess.

Given as a favor of the king’s-presence, extending the period of life to eternity, with a goodly memory among the people after the years that shall come; to the prince and count, overseer of the granary of Amun, Senmut, triumphant.

Senenmut is a famous nobleman from the court of Hatshepsut. Senenmut may have started his career during the reign of Thutmose I – Hatshepsut’s father – or during the reign of Thutmose II – Hatshepsut’s half-brother and husband. He rises to great prominence during the reign of Hatshepsut however.

Senenmut (sometimes written Senmut) was the son of Ramose and Hatnofret. Senenmut’s maternal grand-mother is known to be a lady named Sat-Djehuty. Senmut had several brothers: Amenemhet (Priest of the Barque of Amun), Min-hotep (Priest of Amun), and Pairi (Overseer of the Cattle). And he also had at least two sisters: Ah-hotep and Nofret-hor. His parents¬† were¬† reburied in Senenmut’s tomb. Senenmut had two tombs in Thebes: TT71 and TT353.

Senenmut served in many capacities. He held several positions related to the cult of Amun in Thebes. He was also the Steward of Queen Hatshepsut, the tutor of the royal daughter Neferure and he served as an architect. His most famous contribution as an architect is the work he is thought to have done on Hatshepsut’s beautiful mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahari – named Djeser-Djeseru.

New Kingdom, mid 18th Dynasty, reign of Hatshepsut, ca. 1479-1458 BC. Made of black granite. Now in the Field Museum, Chicago. 173800