Sculptures of scribes were sculpted during the 4th dynasty and 5th dynasty when referring to the Old Kingdom Art. The Seated Scribe was discovered in 1850 in Saqqara, Egypt north of the Serapeum’s line of sphinxes by a French archaeologist Auguste Mariette. It is currently being housed at Louvre Museum, Paris under the Department of Egyptian Antiquities. The Seated Scribe having been crafted during the era of pyramids coupled up inadequate records has made it not possible to determine the original place that it was buried. However, some scholars are positive that the sculpture was stored in the pyramids (History 2701, history2701.wikia.com/wiki/Seated_Scribe_of_Old_Kingdom_Egypt).
The Seated Scribe was sculptured using yellow stone depicting royalty and hard crystallized limestone. The scribe in this sculpture had a red tint which means he was male. Other details on the painting include white color for the garments and black paint for eyelids, cosmetic lines etc. The base to the sculpture is missing which according to Lovre Museum is believed to have been larger. This missing piece is believed to have carried information on the sculpture like which the person was (History 2701, history2701.wikia.com/wiki/Seated_Scribe_of_Old_Kingdom_Egypt).
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Limestone was used to create this sculpture which was a mineral that was abundant in Ancient Egypt. This shows the trend in Egyptian art during this time. Other sculptures that used this mineral include Great Pyramids of Egypt. It was common in Egyptian art during this time because it was easily available, neutral color therefore could be painted (History 2701, history2701.wikia.com/wiki/Seated_Scribe_of_Old_Kingdom_Egypt).
This piece of art is naturalistic and depicts one of the best examples of Egyptian naturalism. It is an important piece that acts like a mirror to ancient Egyptian art. More attention was given to the eyes. The sculpture also shows that in the Egyptian culture, scribes were highly respected because of the quality of this sculpture. It also means that people were familiar with or were using paper in this period.
The sculpture shows a scribe in a position ready to write. This adds meaning to the fact that scribes were a group of people that knew how to read and write during that time. They were also used as a communication tool between the rulers and the citizens. The quality of and the skill used to carve the sculpture shows that scribes were important when it came to management of state matters. The Seated Scribe which was sculptured between 2450 and 2325 BCE was discovered near Kai’s tomb. During this period, royals had sculptures of their servants made for them so that they could be able to use their skills in their second life. The art work is believed to have been made during the 4th dynasty because of the ‘writing’ position of the scribe. Art works of later dates were mostly made in a ‘reading’ position (Louvre Museum, http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/seated-scribe).
Even though the identity of the scribe is unknown, this piece of art work is impeccable. It shows and helps people understand the Egyptian culture during this era. Therefore, it is important to note that scribes were an important aspect of the Egyptian culture for their reading and writing skills. They were at the same time important for other functions. The sculpture also shows that Egyptians had exemplary skills in bringing out their naturalism using artwork.
- Art History Timeline, Factual Information: Seated Scribe, Retrieved from dereksarthistorytimeline.weebly.com/seated-scribe.html, Accessed 2013
- Louvre Museum, Paris. The Seated Scribe. Retrieved from http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/seated-scribe. Accessed 2015.
- History 2701 Wiki. Seated Scribe of Old Kingdom Egypt. Retrieved from history2701.wikia.com/wiki/Seated_Scribe_of_Old_Kingdom_Egypt, Accessed 2013