Art Analysis of Offering Bearer Statue

  • Updated March 27, 2023
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When we talk about history we do not immediately think of art. Art has played a bigger role in learning about our past than most people think. Since the Paleolithic Era, art has developed over time and has influenced artists to the present day. Art gives an understanding of mankind and culture, also how it has evolved into what it is today. Art is an embodiment of culture, art is a physical and emotional representation of the people who make it. The best way to appreciate art is to look at the history of the peice and it’s evolvement through time. By analyzing the artworks from a specific time period we can learn a lot about those who lived hundreds and thousands of years before us. Through art analysis, aestheticians are able to tell who created the artwork, their culture, and their belief system.

The piece of art I will be analyzing is the Offering Bearer statue. This statue can be found at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. The Offering Bearer statue originated in from Thebes, Egypt. It was discovered by the MMA excavations in 1920 in the Tomb of Meketre. The tomb belonged to the royal chief steward Meketre who was a helper of King Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II of Dynasty 11. The statue seems to be one of a pair. There is a second, very similar female figure which can be found at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt. There’s not much conclusive evidence to be sure that they are connected. Since the Offering Bearer is very unique, it has caught the attention of many historians. Historians believe this to be a religious statue of a woman whose role was to bring nourishment to the deceased. Upon its discovery, it was considered the most detailed and best preserved set of wooden funerary models ever found. This still holds truth even today.

When I first saw the statue it instantly grabbed my interest. This statue gave me the impression that she was alive more than any of the other egyption statues. I was intrigued by the fact that it was made of wood and had vibrant colors oppose to the lifeless stone statues found all throughout the gallery. This can also be do to the amazing condition it is in. The Offering Bearer statue stands at 112cm tall and 17cm wide. The proportions of her head, to her upper and lower body made the artpiece seem lifelike. The position in which her left arm is in, that is holding a basket of offerings, looks very natural. The statue has curved hips and long legs giving her a more natural look. She is wearing traditional egyptian jewelry such as, a bracelet on both her wrists and ankles. In her right hand she is holding a duck by the wings in order to keep it from flying away. There is a wooden basket that is balancing on her head and is only being stable by her fingertips. The basket is filled with various cuts of meat. The reason she is carrying an animal in one hand and a basket of food in the other is because the egyptians believed that she will keep the soul of the deceased fed in the afterlife. The women has a look of absolute, neverending bliss on her face gives the viewer a sense of joy and content upon seeing it. The makeup painted on to her face is very typical of the ancient egyptians. The mediums used to give the statue some color are various paints made from local minerals and gesso to make the wood easier to paint on. The women’s dress was painted with different shades of red, blue, green and yellow. The basket that she is carrying on her head was painter brown and black. Lastly, the block that she is standing on was painted burgundy.

The Offering Bearer statue is positioned in the middle of the room it is in. It receives a lot of light to make the colors and workmanship more appreciable. It is kept in a tall glass case and put on a raised platform.

Cite this paper

Art Analysis of Offering Bearer Statue. (2022, Apr 04). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/art-analysis-of-offering-bearer-statue/



What are offering bearers?
In ancient times, offering bearers were people who were in charge of bringing offerings to the gods. They were usually slaves or prisoners.
What was the estate figure used for?
The estate figure was used to estimate the value of the estate for tax purposes.
Why was it important to have a sculpture of the deceased in the tomb?
It was important to have a sculpture of the deceased in the tomb because it was a way to remember them and to honor their life.
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