Egyptian Art Statue from Metropolitn Museum

Egyptian

Art Statue from Metropolitn Museum

This superb pair standing statue remains
semi-attached to the limestone block from which they were carved. There
is chipping on the surface of Memi's (man) right arm. A portion of

Sabu's (woman) nose and her lips appear to be chipped off as well. On the
lower part of Sabu's body there is chipping on both legs and right underneath
her pelvic area. There are visible horizontal lines that cut right across

Memi's right forearm and underneath Sabu's breasts. These lines may indicate
what pieces of the statue had to be mended back together. There is also
chipping on the bottom right hand corner of the stone slab underneath Memi's
right leg. There are remnants of black paint on Sabu's wig, hairline and
on her pupils. On Memi's left shoulder there is a small remnant of
rust color paint that was probably the skin color used for his whole body.

Black paint is also visible on the lower portion of Memi's hair, especially
along the tips closest to his shoulders. All other paint on the statue
seems to have deteriorated over the years.

The hieroglyphs along the bottom
of the stone slab label this work of historical art with representations
of birds and plants. The representation of nature in Egyptian artwork is
very common during the Old Kingdom time period. The overall statue remains
fairly intact suffering from only one major handicap, which is the loss
of its original color.

This pair statue subtly deviates
from the conventional representations of husband and wife in Old Kingdom
artwork. This statue is rather exceptional because we see an image
where the wife's symbolic gesture that signifies their marital status is
affectionately returned by her husband's embrace. There is a sense
of intimacy and warmth in this embrace. This may explain the fact
that Memi stands with his feet together as opposed to the masculine striding
pose where the left leg is slightly advanced. Memi retains the strict canonical
pose with respect to the rigid frontal well-built body. His right arm hangs
straight down and close to his side while his right hand is clenched in
a fist with the thumb facing forward. He appears to be clenching some type
of cylinder rod, which can also be interpreted as a symbol of royalty or
power. His chest muscles, abdominal muscles and right bicep emphasize his
well-toned body. His left arm wraps around the back of Sabu's head and
drapes down over her left shoulder. His left hand rests on her left breast.

His fingers are stiff and elongated. Knuckles are visible and his left
thumb is seen in profile. Memi stands much larger than Sabu and is almost
a full head taller than she is. Their bodies are not aligned together;

Memi is slightly more advanced and protrudes a bit more from the stone
slab than Sabu. His back is not fully attached to the slab although
his legs and feet appear to be semi-attached.

Memi's face is round in shape and
is his gaze is focused straight ahead. His jaw line is not clearly defined.

The texture of his hair appears to be very thick and in layers. This possibly
could be interpreted for wavy or even curly hair. His hair partially covers
his forehead and fully covers his ears almost touching his shoulders. His
neck is very tiny and otherwise not proportioned to the rest of his body.

His eyes are oval shaped and his nose is round and wide. He has full lips
and his chin is well defined. Memi wears a garment wrapped around his waist,
which covers the lower portion of his body to his knees. He is also wearing
some type of belt that fastens underneath his navel and imitates a fan-pleated
pattern, which covers the right side of his garment. His knees and
shinbones are highly defined. His ankles are much narrower than the lower
portion of his leg and his toes resemble the appearance of his fingers.

Sabu's pose is canonical with her
left arm hanging straight down and close to her body. Her left hand rests
on her left thigh with the thumb facing forward. Her right arm circles
around her husband's waist. A portion of her right arm and shoulder are
visible showing the extension of her arm around his body. Her right hand
fingers are very stiff and close together. Her right thumb is carved in
profile. Sabu is significantly smaller than Mimi and stands closer to the
stone slab. Her back is slightly separated from the stone slab as well
as her feet.