This Egyptian Statue Is Reminiscent of a Family Photo (Video)
This Egyptian statue, an exhibit at the New York MET, hails from around 1340 BC during the Amarna period and exudes a magnetic charm. These three male figures capture a profound naturalism, evident in their slouched postures and expressive gestures. The central figure envelops the young boy in a protective embrace, while the two men on the periphery share an elegantly simple handclasp. Each face in this sculpture tells a unique story. The leftmost man displays the wear of time with lined features, even his mouth gently drooping. In contrast, the central figure radiates composure, while the young boy sports the innocence of youth. These statues once found their place in domestic settings, adorning house shrines as tokens of devotion to ancestors.
The central figure likely represents the linchpin, offering insight into the tableau. To the right stands an esteemed ancestor, resplendent in his elaborate attire, emphasizing his wide stride. On the opposite side, one can envision the young son of the central figure, eager to receive the blessings bestowed upon him by his elder. This sculpture may have graced the central figure's home initially, passing down through generations, adopting various identities along the way. It's akin to the way we treasure old family photographs, seeking clues that draw us closer to our ancestors.
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Top image: Egyptian statue of two men and a boy that served as a domestic icon. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Public Domain.