New Kingdom, Dynasty XIX, reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC)
Provenance: probably Thebes, later Drovetti Collection, 1824
Inv. Nr. C. 3032
Penchenabu was a civil servant who lived in the artisans’ village at Deir el-Medina in western Thebes, near the Valley of the Kings. Like most of his colleagues, he venerated the chief gods of the city. In this case Penchenabu offers an altar surmounted by the head of a ram to the god Amun-Re, a solar version of Amun. Tattooed on his shoulder is an image of Amun on the right, and the deified Ahmes-Nefertari, patron of the artisan’s village on the left. Like the statue of Amenhotep I, this figure was probably meant to imitate Egyptian alabaster, which is why only details of the hair and face are picked out in pigment, while the fleshy areas are left white. The ram’s head, on the other hand, was meant to look like a real offering, which is why it was fully painted. The inscription dates Penchenabu to the reign of Ramesses II. The sculpture shares similarities with the retrospective portrait of Amenhotep I and may, therefore, suggest that both sculptures were carved about the same time. This sculpture was acquired in 1824 and a century later Penchenabu’s tomb was identified and excavated at Deir el-Medina (TT 322).