Gallery number: 32 – Ground Floor
Period: Old Kingdom
Dynasty: Dynasty 4, Reign of Snofru (ca. 2613-2589 BC)
Size: Height of Rahotep 121 cm;
Height of Nofret 122 cm
Place of discovery: Mastaba of Rahotep, Meidum
Material: Painted Limestone, eyes inlaid with rock-crystal, calcite and outlined with copper
These two statues represent prince Rahotep–son of Snofru and brother of Khufu–and his wife Nofret. They were created during the transitional period between the Third and Fourth Dynasties and are very good illustrations of the strict canons that governed the art of this period in Egyptian history. The two statues are very frontal and idealized, since they represented how the deceased figures wished to appear in the afterlife. Rahotep is painted reddish-brown, the colour men were customarily represented with, since they spent a great deal of time in the sun. Nofret is depicted in a pale yellowish colour, as most women were represented in ancient Egypt. Their pose is very typical of this time in ancient Egyptian history. The colours on these statues are extremely well preserved. This and their very realistic eyes, inlaid with rock-crystal, calcite, and outlined with copper make these statues among the most impressive pieces in the Egyptian Museum.