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Enhancing Visibility: Djehutihotep’s Painter Horamenyankhu

من أجل رؤية أفضل: رَسَّام ﺪﭼحوتي حتب المدعو حورآمون يانخو

Alisée Devillers et Toon Sykora
p. 53-81

Résumés

Cet article se propose de réévaluer les références aux personnes impliquées dans la construction et la décoration de la tombe de Djéhoutyhotep, à Deir el‑Bersha. Il se concentre en particulier sur les autoreprésentations de son artiste principal, Horamenyankhou. Ici, l’artiste n’est pas uniquement désigné comme tel par ses titres, il se distingue également visuellement grâce à l’emploi de techniques compositionnelles spécifiques et par son insertion au sein d’un environnement iconographique soigneusement élaboré où il porte vêtements et attributs spécifiques. Après avoir examiné les autoportraits du principal créateur de la tombe de Djéhoutyhotep, ces images sont ensuite comparées aux traditions antérieure et postérieure des portraits d’artistes, ce qui permet d’évaluer l’exceptionnalité du cas d’el-Bersha.

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1In his still-prominent epigraphic publication of the tomb of Djehutihotep in Dayr al‑Barshā, Percy E. Newberry (1894, p. 3) was the first to identify two of the artists involved in the creation of the monument whose “handiwork was well worthy to carry down their fame to posterity.” Despite this praise, his account of the individuals involved remained limited to a brief discussion of their attested titles. Accordingly, it has led to little scholarly attention in the following century. During the renewed epigraphic study of the tomb, several hitherto-unobserved peculiarities in the representation of its main artistic creator stood out. These prompted us to evaluate anew the references to the artists involved in the decoration of the tomb in order to consider the manner in which they were able to represent themselves in their own work. This self-identification is not limited to the choice of titles, but involves the selection of apparel and attributes with which the artist represents himself and iconographic context in which his image features. It also includes less formal, but by no means less visually potent, artistic and compositional techniques the artists employed to emphasize their contribution. After examining these features in the funerary chapel of Djehutihotep, the attestations are framed within the preceding and following traditions of artistic self-representation. By comparing Djehutihotep’s artists with other outstanding examples, it becomes possible to evaluate the exceptionality of the case.

1. The tomb

  • 1  The often used designation ‘Djehutihotep II’ was based on an erroneous reading of nḫt as ḥtp in th (...)
  • 2  Most notably the titles ỉm.y-r ḥm.w-nṯr, ‘overseer of priests’ and ḥr.y-tp ʾȝ n Wn.t, ‘great overl (...)
  • 3  Newberry 1894, p. 6, pl. V.
  • 4  A cylinder seal mentioning both Senwosret (presumably III) and Nimaatra (Amenemhat III) was found (...)
  • 5  These refer once to Amenemhat II and Senwosret III and twice to Senwosret II: Newberry 1894, p. 6, (...)

2The tomb of Djehutihotep1 was the last decorated monument to be added to the Middle Kingdom elite cemetery of Dayr al‑Barshā. It was commissioned by the provincial magnate Djehutihotep, whose impressive array of titles2 places him at the very top of the priesthood and administration of the Hare Nome. Djehutihotep is datable to the second half of the 12th dynasty through a sequence of royal names on the façade of his tomb.3 Although Djehutihotep was probably still alive at the ascension of Amenemhat III,4 the last king mentioned in his tomb is Senwosret III. This implies that the monument was decorated during the reign of this pharaoh, since compositionally, it would otherwise have made more sense to include a fourth pharaoh on the four decorated jamb-faces of the façade.5

  • 6  For a basic overview of the architecture of the decorated tombs in zone 2, see Griffith, Newberry  (...)
  • 7  Even the façade of Ahanakht I, which is the most impressive (partially) preserved example, does no (...)
  • 8  While most of the other governors’ tombs are heavily damaged, their floor plans and approximate he (...)
  • 9  This approximate figure includes the fully decorated ceilings, and the geometric and monochrome pa (...)
  • 10  Pieke 2016.
  • 11  While a full investigation is beyond the scope of this paper, the composer of the texts in the tom (...)
  • 12  Among others by Smith 1951, p. 322; Favry 2005, p. 56; Kamrin 2015, p. 29. It should be emphasized (...)

3Several choices that shaped the architecture and iconography of the tomb seem to have been made to set it apart visually from the rest of the cemetery. The most notable architectural difference between the funerary chapel of Djehutihotep and the layout of the other gubernatorial tombs on the site6 is its spacious portico (fig. 1). This portico was fully decorated with scenes in paint and relief, with its entrance framed by a band of monumental hieroglyphs, which were supported by two palm columns. This readily visible portion of the tomb would have contrasted with the exterior decoration of the neighbouring tombs (fig. 1), which was, as far as we can ascertain, limited to a hieroglyphic inscription surrounding the entrance.7 Once inside the funerary chapel of Djehutihotep, the visitor’s attention would have been captured by the intricately sculpted and painted decoration. This decoration not only overshadowed the monuments of Djehutihotep’s predecessors in sheer size,8 with its more than 300m² surface originally covered by paint or relief,9 but also in quality. The figures and hieroglyphs were painted with great attention to detail and marked liveliness, without losing sight of the overall composition of the scene (fig. 2a). The artist fully used the colour palette available, by overlaying, contrasting and sometimes even combining different colours as a gradient (fig. 2b). Such technical resourcefulness was applied in juxtaposition with traditional and often even archaic features to create a unique synthesis of styles, both in iconography10 and in text.11 This creates a remarkable and attractive result, often placed among the most impressive examples of Middle Kingdom art.12

Fig. 1. Reconstruction drawing of the tombs of Djehutihotep (left) and Amenemhat (right).

Fig. 1. Reconstruction drawing of the tombs of Djehutihotep (left) and Amenemhat (right).

© M. Hense/Dayr al‑Barshā Project

Fig. 2. Details from the decoration in the tomb of Djehutihotep: Two offering bearers carrying fowl on the lowermost register of the east wall of the shrine (a, left) and a Tilapia caught in a net, from the fishing scene on the north wall of the inner chamber (b, right).

Fig. 2. Details from the decoration in the tomb of Djehutihotep: Two offering bearers carrying fowl on the lowermost register of the east wall of the shrine (a, left) and a Tilapia caught in a net, from the fishing scene on the north wall of the inner chamber (b, right).

© M. De Meyer/Dayr al‑Barshā Project

2. The artists

  • 13  That Djehutihotep aimed to let his monument stand out between those of his illustrious forebears i (...)
  • 14  “Self-thematisation.” For this concept, see Assmann 1987; Assmann 1996. Central to this concept is (...)

4Accordingly, Djehutihotep’s ambition to transcend the monuments of his ancestors was translated into an architecturally and artistically exceptional tomb.13 This peak achievement was possible due to the engagement of talented artists, but also by giving them the liberty to display their artistic skills. The attestations of these artists stand out as rare cases of Middle Kingdom “Selbstthematisierung”14 whereby the artist receives an exceptional degree of visibility. They give valuable insights into Middle Kingdom artisanship and the symbiotic connection between artist and tomb owner.

  • 15  They occur throughout the main chamber of the tomb: Newberry 1894, pls. X, XI, XIII, XV (behind th (...)
  • 16  Because of its rarity, the title sš-hn is difficult to interpret. Besides an isolated and barely i (...)
  • 17  Newberry 1894, pl. XI and XXVII.
  • 18  Newberry 1894, pl. XV.
  • 19  This may also be explained by his comparatively high office (see footnote 16 above), however. Even (...)

5Throughout the chapel of the tomb, several of Djehutihotep’s officials are depicted accompanying their governor, usually in a group.15 While some of the pertinent scenes are only fragmentarily preserved, enough remains to identify three people who may have been major participants in the creation of the tomb. By looking in detail at the attestations of these three characters, we can gain a better understanding of their interrelationship with the monument they helped to create. The first is labelled as the ‘scribe of the chest16 and director of all works, Nekhti-ankh’s son, Sepi, whom Sep conceived.’ He appears at the very end of a long row of officials on the east wall (fig. 3) and in front of two attendants on the south wall.17 These are both prominent positions right below or behind the tomb owner, and in both cases, Sepi is depicted in a capacity befitting his office, holding a papyrus scroll and scribal palette. (N)ekhti-ankh’s son Sepiappears once more in the colossus scene, where he is one of only two named officials among a group of men immediately following the statue.18 Here, he is designated a ‘director of works with regards to this statue,’implying that he was one of the people in charge of the illustrious operation. Unlike the two captions mentioned previously, this label may not have been part of the decoration as originally planned. This can be derived from the observation that it partially overlaps with the neighbouring register line. Nonetheless, paleographically and stylistically, the hieroglyphs are indistinguishable from those elsewhere in the tomb, which suggests that Sepi’s third label would have been added by the same artist while the decoration of the tomb was still ongoing. Sepi’s title of ‘controller of all works’ strongly suggests that he was involved in the construction of the rock-cut tomb as well. Although this is not explicitly stated, it would explain his prominent place in the decorative program.19

Fig. 3. Representation of Nekhti-ankh’s son Sepi, from the east wall of the inner chamber.

Fig. 3. Representation of Nekhti-ankh’s son Sepi, from the east wall of the inner chamber.

© M. De Meyer/Dayr al‑Barshā Project

  • 20  P.E. Newberry (1894, p. 17) and later Hermann Ranke (PN I, p. 59, no. 22.) read the name with some (...)
  • 21  To our knowledge ḫrp ỉs only occurs once more, at the very end of the autobiography of Khnumhotep  (...)
  • 22  P.E. Newberry (1894, p. 17), followed by Kurt Sethe (Urk. VII, p. 50c). although a direct connecti (...)
  • 23  See footnote 16.
  • 24  Among Djehutihotep’s attendants on the west wall and above a row of sealers on the north wall: New (...)

6The inclusion of a namesake of Nekhtiankh’s son Sepi in the tomb may cast some doubt on his direct involvement in the creation of the tomb. This official, ‘Abihu’s20 son, Sep, whom Sep has conceived’ carries the titles ‘trusted sealer’ and ‘controller/inspector of this tomb.’21 Because of this second designation, Sep has previously been interpreted as the person in charge of the tomb’s construction.22 If this is indeed the case, his relation towards the overseer of works, Nekhtiankh’s son Sepi, remains to be explained. Perhaps, Sep was specifically in charge of the construction of the tomb, while Sepi, as the senior official of the two,23 bore a wider range of responsibilities, including but not limited to, the construction of the tomb. Another observation may clarify the matter: in both cases where he appears,24 Abihu’s son Sep’s label seems to have been a later addition. In the first case, the label is included in sunk relief in an otherwise fully raised relief composition (fig. 4). In the second, it seems to have been haphazardly fitted into an empty space next to a group of attendants who are following Djehutihotep. Unlike those of Nekhtiankh’s son Sepi, the figures of the second Sep do not show him in a capacity befitting his recorded title. Instead, his labels were attached to previously anonymous images of guardsmen in Djehutihotep’s retinue. Nonetheless, his labels also follow the palaeographical conventions established throughout the rest of the tomb, but are executed with considerably less care. These later additions can be explained in several ways. Perhaps Sep only oversaw a later stage in the tomb’s construction, or he was charged with its maintenance after its completion. Alternatively, he may have led the initial excavation of the tomb, and being not directly involved in the decorative process but only a comparatively minor official, his name may have been ignored when the lists of officials commemorated inside were first compiled. It is not hard to imagine the official or one of his descendants being granted permission at a later stage to add his name to the by then already completed tomb. While this seems to have been done by a different artist, care was taken to closely follow the established patterns, by copying the colours and interior details of hieroglyphs elsewhere in the tomb.

Fig. 4. Representation of Ab-ihu’s son Sep, from the north wall of the inner chamber.

Fig. 4. Representation of Ab-ihu’s son Sep, from the north wall of the inner chamber.

© Dayr al‑Barshā Project/M. De Meyer

  • 25  For the incense-burner held by the man, see Blackman 1912.

7For a third figure, the case is clearer. His best-preserved representation occurs again in the colossus scene, where he is depicted facing the statue (fig. 5). The figure is wearing the apparel of a lector‑priest and performs as a censer in this capacity, which is confirmed by the label ỉrỉ.t snṯr ‘burning incense.’25Above the figure, three columns present his name and titles, and although these have now been partially damaged, they can be completed using copies made by early travellers (pl. 1):

col. 1 [ẖr.y-ḥb.t sš-ḳd].wt n pr-nsw.t col. 2 [sš ỉ]s pn ʿpr col. 3 Ḥr-ỉmnỉ-ʿnḫ.w

  • 26  Or ‘painter.’ For the meaning of ḳd.wt in this title, see Laboury 2016, p. 379, footnote 22.

col. 1 [The lector-priest, the draughts]man26 of the palace col. 2 [the scribe of/who inscribed] this decorated tomb col. 3 Hor-ameny-ankhu.

  • 27  Newberry 1894, p. 20, pl. XII.
  • 28  MS Wilkinson dep. a. 17, fol. 16. We are indebted to the Bodleian Library in Oxford for allowing u (...)
  • 29  Ware 1927, p. 191; Urk. VII, p. 50b; Fischer 1985 (ed. 1997), p. 76, no. 1446; Davies 1999, p. 34.
  • 30  Now preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, NAF 20404, p. 25.
  • 31  Ward (1982, p. 166, no. 1446) only cites one other example, the sš ḳd.wt n pr-nsw.t m pr-nsw.t Mry (...)
  • 32  Willems 2021, pp. 476–477.
  • 33  A similar argument has already been put forward by Gabi Pieke (2016, p. 103).

8The second title of the sequence, now partially preserved, is essential to understanding the exact nature of this person’s profession. P.E. Newberry based his reading ‘sš wt n pr-nsw.t,’ ‘mummy-painter of the house of the king,’27 on John Gardner Wilkinson’s copy,28 where the roughly sketched sign following the scribal palette resembles a papyrus scroll. Despite this, such a reading has been questioned by several authors, who suggest that the sign should be read ḳd instead.29 Nestor l’Hôte’s copy of the scene30 supports this interpretation, since the striated rectangle he draws clearly deviates from the inner detailing of the scroll depicted above but is very similar to ḳd-signs elsewhere in the tomb. This results in the title sš ḳd.wt n pr-nsw.t, a painter or draughtsman connected to the palace, although the rarity of the title31 makes it difficult to reconstruct in which exact capacity. Combined with the title in the next column, it seems safe to assume that Horamenyankhu was the main artist responsible for the painted decoration in the tomb. As a lector‑priest, the artist would have had the required background to compose the magically significant scenes and texts in the tomb. His connection to the residence is also of note here and may well relate to Djehutihotep’s own connection to the royal palace.32 Considering this, it is also tempting to assume that he took much of his inspiration in the royal necropoleis of the Memphite area or was at least educated with this artistic tradition in mind.33

Pl. 1. Epigraphic drawing of Hor-ameny-ankhu with colours indicated in grayscales,
the part of the title sequence which was reconstructed from early copies is indicated in blue.

Pl. 1. Epigraphic drawing of Hor-ameny-ankhu with colours indicated in grayscales, the part of the title sequence which was reconstructed from early copies is indicated in blue.

© Dayr al-Barshā Project, T. Sykora

Fig. 5. Representation of Hor-ameny-ankhu, from the west wall of the inner chamber.

Fig. 5. Representation of Hor-ameny-ankhu, from the west wall of the inner chamber.

© Dayr al‑Barshā Project/M. De Meyer

  • 34  We are grateful to Julian Bosch for his helpful discussion on this peculiar case.
  • 35  Newberry 1894, p. 20; PN I, pp. 31, no. 11; Ware 1927, p. 191.
  • 36  ʿpr Ḥr, ‘adorner of Horus:’Fischer 1985 (ed. 1997), p. 29, nr. 1609b. Davies’ (1999, p. 34) observ (...)
  • 37  Which explains why Newberry (1894, pl. XXXII and XXXIV) only copied some of the still visible sign (...)
  • 38  For the use of double names in the (Late) Middle Kingdom, see Vernus 1986.
  • 39  Geneva stela D 50 includes two family members named Ḥr-Ỉmn.y: Spiegelberg, Pörtner 1902; Willems 1 (...)
  • 40  For the concordance of Amenemhat II and Ameny, see for example: Grajetzki 2006, p. 45. The name ma (...)

9Another point of confusion is the name of the artist, which is not only unique, but also unusual in composition.34 Hitherto, the name has been read as Ỉmn.y-ʿnḫ.w,35 coupling the Ḥr-sign with the last sign in the previous column.36 Two additional representations of the artist in the shrine of the same tomb (fig. 6a-b), make this reading unlikely, however. Although both depictions are heavily affected by salt efflorescence in the limestone,37 most of the name of the figure is still clearly legible, and include the element Ḥr. On the east wall, this is immediately preceded by the title sš ḳd.wt, which excludes the possibility that the same sequence as in the colossus scene appeared here. It is also unlikely that Ḥr should be considered as a filiation, since in every other case in the funerary chapel of Djehutihotep, a preceding father’s name is followed by the hieroglyph . Since the three elements of the name cannot easily be combined, we therefore propose that it is a double name:38 either Hor, Ameny-ankhu or Hor-ameny, Ankhu.39 Since neither of these options is conclusive, we will continue to write the group as one. The name fits well with our chronology, since Horamenyankhu, having reached an advanced stage in his career in the reign of Senwosret III, may well have been born during the time of Amenemhat II. This ruler then becomes the likely origin for the ‘Ameny’ in Horamenyankhu’s name.40

Fig. 6. The representations of Hor-ameny-ankhu on the west (a, left) and east (b, right) walls of the shrine.

Fig. 6. The representations of Hor-ameny-ankhu on the west (a, left) and east (b, right) walls of the shrine.

© Dayr al‑Barshā Project/M. De Meyer

  • 41  Newberry 1894, pl. XI and XXIV.
  • 42  For the position of these depictions, see Newberry 1894 pl. XV, XXXII and XXXIV.

10Horamenyankhu was only one of dozens of people depicted inside the funerary chapel of Djehutihotep. Nonetheless, by subtly manipulating several iconographical codes at his disposal, he seems to have pursued an end-result in which his own representation would stand out among those of his fellow officials. Apart from the tomb owner and his core family, Horamenyankhu and Nekhtiankh’s son Sepi are, with three preserved mentions each, the most frequently attested individuals in the tomb. It is probably no coincidence that two of the men responsible for the construction and decoration of the tomb were also the ones most abundantly depicted on its walls. Where Horamenyankhu’s representations are all original, one of of Sepi’s was added at a later stage. Horamenyankhu also reserved some of the most prominent positions on the walls for himself and his colleague. Sepi originally appeared in two locations, once closest to Djehutihotep, at the end of a long line of attendants on the east wall, and once right behind his master on the south wall.41 Horamenyankhu’s placement is even more conspicuous: once at the very centre of the colossus scene and twice in the upper register of the shrine itself.42 It must be stressed however, that in its current state, the tomb of Djehutihotep presents a far from complete record. Two walls—the west wall of the outer chamber and the east wall of the inner chamber—were largely destroyed and even the preserved walls have suffered considerable damage. Because of this, it is possible and perhaps even likely, that additional artist signatures were lost when the wall they adorned was damaged. Accordingly, any comparison of occurrences should be regarded as a possibly incomplete approximation.

  • 43  With the exception of Sepi and Nehri in the colossus scene. It is of note that both were likely la (...)
  • 44  The lower register was also fully cut in relief, the significance of which remains unclear.
  • 45  Even the two figures standing on the statue are only partially sculpted in relief, with their uppe (...)
  • 46  A diagonal strap and covered back: Forshaw 2014, pp. 7–8.
  • 47  This hairstyle occurs only once more, on a decorated wall fragment (Dayr al‑Barshā Project, no. 10 (...)

11To these rather straightforward efforts to display himself more prominently, Horamenyankhu added subtle, but visibly potent, optical techniques. Specifically, the artist often plays with contrast: he always situates himself in a larger scene which is, with the exception of the tomb owner and his father, otherwise completely devoid of named characters.43 This makes him immediately more noticeable than even the prominently placed figures in long rows of named officials. Another contrast was exploited in the selective use of relief. In the inner chamber and shrine of the tomb of Djehutihotep, the use of relief is usually limited to representations of the tomb owner, his family members and larger textual sections.44 Consequently, details in relief immediately catch the eye. The colossus scene was largely executed in paint only, with the exception of the statue of the governor and, significantly, the representation of Horamenyankhu in front.45 The case is even more evident in the shrine, where the artist’s image in relief stands in stark contrast with the surrounding registers, which were painted on a smooth surface. Another and less obvious manner to differentiate himself from the other figures in the scenes in which he features, may be his very own image. Horamenyankhu always represents himself in the tomb in his capacity of a lector-priest, a function which allows him to be included seamlessly in the scenes in which he appears. Although he is wearing the traditional clothing appropriate to this office,46 one detail of his portrayal is interesting. The artist depicts himself with distinctly sculpted, wavy hair, which is a unique feature among the hundreds of men depicted in the tomb.47 When all these elements are taken into consideration, they clearly disclose an intentional attempt by the artist to increase his visibility in the monument in which he played a pivotally creative role. On a second level, the visual prominence of the artist, which could not have gone unnoticed during the creation process, suggests at least a full endorsement on the tomb owner’s part.

  • 48  Anthes 1928, p. 17, Inschr. XIII.
  • 49  We are grateful to Roland Enmarch for sharing this information.
  • 50  Now in the archives of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Inv. 3670/1-2. I a (...)
  • 51  Anthes 1928, Tf. 8, Inschr. XIII.

12Although the funerary chapel of Djehutihotep preserves the only certain attestations of Horamenyankhu, another source may shed more light on this individual. This document48 stems from the nearby quarries of Hatnub. While the original inscription is now likely lost,49 Georg Möller produced a squeeze,50 which is still preserved today, and has allowed us to collate Anthes’ facsimile.51 The scene (fig. 7) shows a man seated in front of an offering table, accompanied by several dogs. A cartouche behind the man allows us to date the graffito to the reign of Senwosret III, but the precise year that may have originally stood above is now wholly illegible. In front of the man, a single column of hieroglyphs identifies him:

  • 52  Anthes (1928, p. 17) expresses doubt on this last sign, but from the squeeze, it appears clear tha (...)

ỉm.y-r ḥmw.w52ḫȝs.wt (?)[…]Ḥr?-ỉmn.y

The overseer of artists of the desert (?) […] Hor?-imeny.

Fig. 7.Squeezes from Hatnub Graffito XIII, BBAW A.3670/1-2.

Fig. 7. Squeezes from Hatnub Graffito XIII, BBAW A.3670/1-2.

© Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften/S. Grallert

  • 53  Anthes 1928, p. 17.
  • 54  Hans Goedicke (1959, p. 58) reads it as a father’s name Ḥtp, but this does not accord with the for (...)
  • 55  If the same individual is indeed depicted here, this would suggest that we should read the name as (...)
  • 56  The god Amun was rarely included in Middle Kingdom names from the Hare nome. The only exceptions a (...)

13While the first part is straightforward, a damaged section between the title and name makes it impossible to read the surrounding signs with any certainty. Here, Anthes’ suggestion53 is followed, though other possibilities may be proposed.54 The name of the man introduces another difficulty. Whereas Ỉmn.y is certain, the reading of the bird-sign preceding it is unclear, since its head seems to be damaged. Anthes suggests to read a -sign, but his own facsimile does not readily support such an interpretation. Another possibility would be to reconstruct the name as Ḥr-Ỉmn.y, which accords with one of the proposed readings of the first name of the main artist of Djehutihotep’s tomb.55 This would conveniently explain why we have two contemporary records of senior artists in the Hare Nome with very similar names.56 Remarkably, as the only recorded Middle Kingdom inscription in relief in its quarry, Inschr. XIII seems to have been produced with some of the same visual techniques in mind that shaped Horamenyankhu’s images in the funerary chapel of Djehutihotep. However, with so little of the original graffito being preserved in this area, it is impossible to investigate this claim in detail.

  • 57  This does not necessarily speak against the identification, since the memorial may not have been p (...)

14It should be stressed that the attribution of Hatnub Graffito XIII to the same artist who was involved in Djehutihotep’s tomb construction cannot be regarded as more than a tentative suggestion. While the memorial is one of the best-executed artworks in the quarry, the style of the artwork is significantly weaker than the skill shown in the tomb of Djehutihotep. Although this may be simply due to the different context of the memorial, another artist may have been at play.57 If both records relate to the same individual, however, it would be of interest that one of the few named individuals in the colossus scene where Hatnub is mentioned, is also attested in this precise locality. Of course, the record does not allow us to pinpoint the context and exact capacity in which the artist accompanied the unknown expedition commemorated by the graffito.

15To properly frame Horamenyankhu’s self-thematization in the tomb of Djehutihotep, we should compare his record with the wider corpus of ancient Egyptian artist representations. It is only by considering the context that it becomes clear whether and how his attestations stand out within the contemporary, preceding and succeeding tradition.

3. Horamenyankhu’s depictions in context: a bridge between Old and New Kingdom artists’ representations?

  • 58  We will use the term « thematization » and « portrait » in the sense defined by Jan Assmann (1987 (...)
  • 59  On this concept, see Arnold 1962, p. 128, quoted by Hartwig 2004, p. 17, footnote 99.
  • 60  Examples used in this perspective were discussed more extensively in Alisée Devillers’ PhD thesis  (...)

16Horamenyankhu was clearly a remarkable artist, as he was allowed to thematize himself58 in one of the “Blickpunktsbildern59 of the iconographic program of Djehutihotep’s tomb. All the features he used here to stand out granted him a special status within Djehutihotep’s social microcosm. The exceptionality of Horamenyankhu’s case is also apparent on a more macrocosmic level, when we compare his representations with (self-)depictions of other Middle Kingdom artists. To ascertain whether Horamenyankhu was aware of the self-representations of his predecessors and to better understand how he positioned himself towards this tradition, we will also use comparative material from the preceding era. The following examples were selected from Alisée Devillers’ PhD database. With its ca. 730 attestations of artists from the Old Kingdom to the Late Period, it provides a good statistical basis to illustrate general trends among their self-depictions.60 Finally, New Kingdom instances of artist’s self-representations illustrate how Horamenyankhu’s depictions can be seen as a cornerstone to understand what comes next, from the point of view of the art historian.

  • 61  By “communal monuments”, we refer to artefacts that depict several people without the possibility, (...)
  • 62  In this regard, Irtysen’s stela—which is often cited when Middle Kingdom artists are considered—is (...)
  • 63  The insightful paper of Danijela Stefanović on the attestations of painters on Middle Kingdom and (...)
  • 64  Lange, Schäfer 1902, pl. LIV; Lange, Schäfer 1908, pp. 341–342.
  • 65  Detlev Franke (1984, nos. 680 and 449) and D. Stefanović (2012, p. 186) have argued that Sennefer (...)
  • 66  One of these is linked with three names: the sš-ḳd.wt Nen, the ḳs.ty Senebef and the sš-ḳd.wt Senn (...)
  • 67  Inepunakht (2nd register), Khakaura (3rd register), and Ipy’s son Sennefer (4th register) could be (...)
  • 68  Stefanovic 2012, pp. 186; Quirke 2003, pp. 90–91; Franke 1984, nos. 45a and 129. Furthermore, he l (...)
  • 69  Simpson 1974, ANOC 30.
  • 70  Lange, Schäfer 1902, pl. LIV; Lange, Schäfer 1908, pp. 349–352.
  • 71  This is actually a common trend throughout the Pharaonic era. Although one may think that artists (...)

17Djehutihotep’s tomb was built during the transition from the early to the late Middle Kingdom. It is therefore important to compare its main artist, Horamenyankhu, with both traditions, even though the majority of relevant preserved sources stem from the late Middle Kingdom. It should be emphasized that the social and spatial context of these attestations is markedly different from the one under study: at this period, few artists were able to reach an individual self-representation as they appeared mostly on communal61 monuments.62 Specifically, they often shared small votive stelae with their close or extended family and/or members of their socio-professional network. Roughly 85% of the documentation (i.e. 140 artists out of the 165 known for this period) were recorded on these objects, including 38 bearers of the title sš-ḳd.wt.63 A telling example is the Abydene stela Cairo CG 20715 that contains five artists’ depictions.64 The stela commemorates the family and colleagues of the draughtsman Sennefer, who is depicted on the first register.65, Four sš.w-ḳd.wt66 are represented among his acquaintances (fig. 8).67 In the same vein, we can also consider the several collective monuments of the draughtsman Iuefniersen68 and the four stelae of the family of the sš-ḳd.wt Nakht, which includes several artists (Cairo CG 20263, CG 20515, CG 20526 and CG 20751).69 Artists with another field of specialization occasionally appear on the same monument with a sš-ḳd.wt, as is the case for the ten sculptors on stela Cairo CG 20722.70 None of these examples of artists individualized on communal objects uses visual strategies to stand out or allude to their craftsmanship71: their profession is only advertised by a label while they are otherwise wholly conventional in appearance, kneeling or sitting in traditional offering scenes.

Fig. 8. Stela Cairo CG 20715 (after Lange, Schäfer 1902, pl. LIV).

Fig. 8. Stela Cairo CG 20715 (after Lange, Schäfer 1902, pl. LIV).
  • 72  We can mention for instance the statue of the overseer of the department of draughtsmen, Sebekur ( (...)
  • 73  We know of three more artists depicted in Middle Kingdom tombs. In addition to the following examp (...)
  • 74  Newberry, Griffith 1893, p. 2; Kamrin 1999, 31; Kanawati, Evans 2014a, pl. 120.
  • 75  Furthermore, his name is hardly noticeable for the visitor, given the location of the workshop sce (...)
  • 76  Newberry, Griffith 1893, pl. XXX and XXXV.
  • 77  Kanawati, Evans 2014a, pl. 55(a) and pl. 95(b).
  • 78  Blackman 1915, pl. XXIII.
  • 79  Kahl 2016, pl. 41.
  • 80  Kahl 2016, p. 18, pl. 41.
  • 81  Kahl 2016, pp. 20–21.
  • 82  Jochem Kahl proposes that Ptah-em-saef may have been inspired by monuments in the residence when c (...)
  • 83  It is the largest extant elite tomb from the time: Kahl 2012, p. 177.

18Slightly more analogous cases can be found in earlier Middle Kingdom artist’s representations.72 Specifically, the few extant Middle Kingdom artists’ portraits from tomb walls may employ equivalent, but less remarkable visual tools to signify their profession.73 For instance, the depictions of the ỉm.y-r mḏḥ(.w) Netjernakht in the workshop scene of Khnumhotep II’s tomb at Beni Hasan (BH3, from the time of Amenemhat II-Senusret II)74 are far less outstanding than those of Horamenyankhu.75 Netjernakht is represented in this tomb, woodworking alongside his anonymous colleagues and kneeling in front of the deceased. However, two additional attestations of an ỉmy-r smy.t Nakht’s son Netjernakht from the same tomb76 provide closer comparisons to the case of Horamenyankhu. Despite the otherwise unremarkable appearance of the figure among rows of largely identical officials, his labels stand out as they are the only ones in the scenes which were applied in (sunk) relief.77 If both occurrences indeed refer to the same individual—which is uncertain, since the first attestation does not include a title—the man may have been emphasized with a similar purpose in mind. Another example closer to our case may be found in Ukhhotep III’s tomb at Meir (B4) (time of Amenemhat II).78 Here, the ẖr.y-ḥb.t ḥr.y-tp and sš-ḳd.wt Henu is depicted among a group of officiants performing the offering ritual while holding a staff and a papyrus scroll. The draughtsman is depicted in his capacity as (chief) lector priest, a title he shares with Horamenyankhu. However, the visual techniques utilized for his self-thematization are far less outspoken in comparison to those employed by the designer of Djehutihotep’s tomb. Consequently, his image blends in smoothly within the iconographic scheme, rather than standing out by contrast. Yet another precedent is the depiction of the ẖry-ḥb sš ỉs pn r dỉ m pr-nsw.t Ptah-em-saef, son of Khety, in Djefai-hapi I’s chapel in Asyut (from the time of Senusret I).79 Ptah-em-saef is represented on the north wall of the shrine in the modest role of an offering bearer.80 Djefai-hapi I is well-known for his ambition to be a “Mann von Welt81 and there can be little doubt that Ptah-em-saef, an artist sent by the Residence, was meant to help him achieve this aim.82 Considering the monumental scale of Djefai-hapi I’s chapel,83 it is likely that Djehutyhotep and Horamenyankhu were aware of this memorial and its creator’s signature.

  • 84  Pieke 2016; Stauder 2014a and 2014b. See also footnote 11.

19While Horamenyankhu’s representations stand apart from most of the preserved Middle Kingdom artists’ (self)portraits, some scholars have already pointed out the marked Old Kingdom influence on textual and iconographic motifs within the decoration of Djehutihotep’s tomb chapel84. However, a similar adherence to Old Kingdom precedents for the representation of its artists has so far remained unnoticed. Accordingly, a brief survey of Old Kingdom precedents of artistic self-representation may be instructive to ascertain whether Horamenyankhu’s portraits were shaped by this tradition.

  • 85  On this matter, see Barta 2020, pp. 320, 346ff.
  • 86  At least 14 artists owned a tomb during the 5th and 6th Dynasty (see Devillers 2021).
  • 87  Hermann Junker’s seminal book did record the major artists’ portraits for this period (Junker 1959 (...)
  • 88  The chapel was studied by Kanawati, Evans 2014b.
  • 89  See on this matter Junker 1956.
  • 90  The following description is based on pictures and drawings from Kanawati, Evans 2015, pl. 10b, 11 (...)
  • 91  To our knowledge, this is the only statue depicted as such in the entire chapel. Therefore, it wou (...)
  • 92  The representation of unfinished decoration and the addition of a little figure on the chest are u (...)
  • 93  Here, we use the term “signature” when the creator of a composition is allowed to put his name and (...)
  • 94  For years, scholars used to consider that each time we encounter an individualized artist, he was (...)

20From the 5th Dynasty onwards, a new elite begins to emerge outside the narrow circle of the royal family.85 With this shift, individuals of increasingly heterogeneous professional backgrounds are able to attain funerary commemoration. One corollary of this process is a marked increase of artist attestations in our documentation. Although only few reached the funerary commemoration par excellence, a tomb of their own,86 several were allowed inclusion on the walls of another person’s monument. Unlike the rarity of such occurrences in the Middle Kingdom, named artists appear quite often in Old Kingdom elite tombs, both in royal and provincial necropoleis. They are represented in workshop scenes, accompanying the deceased while fishing and fowling, serving as witnesses to an oath or performing as offering bearers or ritualists.87 Consequently, these people are portrayed among the funerary servants of the deceased who were granted the opportunity to be individualized in the iconographic program of the tomb. In this respect, Pepyankh the Black’s tomb at Meir (6th Dynasty, time of Pepy II), which enshrines no fewer than nine portraits of artists, is a vital source to observe the various ways such men could be depicted at that time.88 Among these artist depictions, two stand out in terms of quantity, even though they do not bear explicit artistic titles. The lector-priest and scribe Sesheshen is represented 12 times while the lector-priest and scribe of the divine scriptures of the Palace, Ihyemsapepy, whose beautiful name is Iri, appears 6 times—one of which was a later addition. Although neither of them bears the title of draughtsman, the numerical preponderance of Sesheshen and the scale of the depictions of Ihyemsapepy/Iri has led scholars to assume that they were involved in the creation of this tomb.89 Indeed, Sesheshen and Ihyemsapepy/Iri are both depicted in a workshop scene in the act of painting. In this very scene, Ihyemsapepy/Iri is shown twice at a larger scale than his colleagues at both ends of the first register, framing the upper part of the entrance to the second room of this chapel90. His labels are also the most extensive among those in the workshop scene. He has short hair and is wearing a long loincloth tightened by a knot, a garment worn only by two of his colleagues in the same register, one of them being Sesheshen. Ihyemsapepy/Iri is depicted squatting and holding a painting brush and bowl each time he appears. On the left side of the panel, he is applying colour on the torso of the deceased’s statue, with a peculiar texture likely representing wood veins.91 On the righthand side, he is painting the Farbleitern frieze on a chest.92 Unlike Horamenyankhu, Pepyankh’s chief artists do not present themselves explicitly as the tomb’s creators. Nonetheless, their representations remain notable examples of an implicit visual signature93 in a provincial tomb, that apart from being depicted as performers of their profession, is emphasized by their predominance in number and scale.94

  • 95  For this famous case, see Laboury 2016, pp. 379–381; Kanawati, Woods 2009, pp. 10 and 65; Kanawati(...)
  • 96  It seems that Kaihep’s tomb was completed after his son’s chapel. Shepsipumin/Kheni  did indeed cl (...)
  • 97  The other sš-ḳd.wt n pr-ʿȝ (Cairo CG 20457) mentioned above is also an interesting case since his (...)
  • 98  Although the brothers are linked with the Residence, Christiane Ziegler (1990, pp. 164–166) and N. (...)

21Apart from implicit artist’s signatures, we also observe, especially in the late Old Kingdom records, artists explicitly signing their works while performing roles not directly linked with workshop scenes. These explicit artists’ signatures are particularly apparent in provincial elite cemeteries. One famous instance can be found in the tombs of the governors of Akhmim, where two brother-artists, were allowed to leave an explicit signature.95 In a marsh scene in the chapel of Shepsipumin/Kheni (6th Dynasty), the sš pr mḏȝ.t nṯr pr-ʿȝ Izezy states that he is the sš ỉz p(n) while his brother Seni is depicted next to him. Both occupy a prominent place in this scene, as they are represented next to the deceased. Seni’s role is made clearer in Shepsipumin/Kheni’s father’s chapel, as he is this time labelled as a sš-ḳd.wt in a similar scene. Moreover, he claims here that he “painted” this tomb without any help. In this context, the more plausible scenario is that Izezy conceptualized the iconographic program of Shepsipumin/Kheni’s chapel and that his brother Seni was in charge of its execution. Later, in the second chapel, Seni conceptualized the decoration without his brother’s help.96 In this case, the visual preponderance of the artists depicted next to the deceased is accompanied by the explicit claim that they designed and/or created the tomb. Furthermore, in both tombs, Izezy presents himself as a palace official. Therefore, this instance illustrates that when the owner of a tomb could employ ḥmw.w from the royal sphere who took part in the creation of the tomb, these renowned artists were allowed to sign more explicitly, presumably because they would contribute to the prestige of their patron. This example is similar to our case: Djehutihotep allowed a remarkable artist with the rare title of sš-ḳd.wt n pr-ʿȝ,97 to occupy a prominent place in his iconographic program. In both cases, given the artist’s affiliation with the Palace, it is hardly surprising they were allowed, and perhaps even requested, to stand out in the tomb as their patron may have wanted to emphasize the royal draughtsmen they were able/allowed to employ.98

  • 99  On this matter, see Chauvet 2015.
  • 100  Chauvet 2015, pp. 70ff.
  • 101  Chauvet 2015, p. 70.
  • 102  Chauvet 2015, p. 70; Kanawati 2012, pl. 79 and 88.
  • 103  Petrie, Murray 1952, pl. XIV.
  • 104  Chauvet 2015, p. 64.
  • 105  This pattern was notably studied by Simon Delvaux in his PhD thesis entitled Étude sur les modes d (...)
  • 106  On this matter, see, e.g., Chauvet 2015; Rizzo 2015; von Lieven 2007; Kruchten 1992; and Derchain  (...)
  • 107  For examples of this corpus, see Chauvet 2015.

22Like Horamenyankhu for the Middle Kingdom, or Seni for the late Old Kingdom, artists throughout Pharaonic history were often depicted as priests. Their involvement in the performance of the funerary liturgy has already been pointed out in various Old Kingdom chapels and was also reiterated during the Middle Kingdom in at least Ukhhotep III’s tomb.99 Indeed, V. Chauvet’s paper demonstrates the important part artists may have played in ritually activating tombs and guaranteeing the deceased’s rebirth.100 In this respect, ḥmw.w who were endowed with the role of ḥm.w-kȝ, ẖr.y-ḥb.t or who performed the ḏwȝ nṯr ritual, were fundamental in activating the funerary chapel. Some of them, labelled with priestly titles, could be depicted with specific features, like the lector-priest’s distinctive “strap across the chest.”101 This is, for example, the case for the lector-priest and draughtsman Kaemtjenenet in Pepyankh the Middle’s tomb who appears three times, twice wearing this particular garment.102 It is also in this capacity that Horamenyankhu represents himself twice in the shrine of his employer. By contrast, we do not have a direct Old Kingdom parallel for the part played by Horamenyankhu in the colossus scene, namely an artist represented censing a statue. Although artists are known to be depicted as thurifers, for instance on the false-door of Djefau (Saqqara, mastaba L55) (fig. 9),103 they are never represented censing the deceased’s statue, a task that could be carried out by actual priest-artists.104 Therefore, Horamenyankhu’s self-depictions in the colossus scene at Dayr al‑Barshā skilfully merged two ancient iconographic motifs, the artist-thurifer and the ritualist represented censing the deceased’s statue.105 As a consequence, the scene illustrates that the performative aspect of the artists’ function in the sacred environment of the funerary chapel, working as a member of the necropolis administration, continues during the Middle Kingdom. His self-depiction particularly emphasizes the specificity of artists’ knowledge—at least for the higher ranked and initiated ones—i.e., their ability to animate images.106 Accordingly, we encounter this specific functional aspect of the ancient Egyptian artists, implied in the Old Kingdom textual corpus,107 for the very first time in iconography.

Fig. 9. False-door of Djefau (Saqqara, mastaba L55) (after Petrie, Murray 1952, pl. XIV).

Fig. 9. False-door of Djefau (Saqqara, mastaba L55) (after Petrie, Murray 1952, pl. XIV).
  • 108  Pieke 2016; Stauder 2014a, p. 180; Stauder 2014b, pp. 116–118. See also footnote 11.
  • 109  With the exception of Irtysen’s stela, which was not taken into account in this paper, see footnot (...)

23Based on this brief review of some preceding artist occurrences with which Horamenyankhu shares common aspects, it appears that implicit or explicit visual signatures and the appearance of artists as ritualists in funerary chapels were both already present in the Old Kingdom record. Given the various other strong connections of Djehutihotep’s tomb decoration with Old Kingdom iconographic and textual traditions,108 we can assume that these links are not coincidental. Horamenyankhu probably had portraits of his predecessors in mind and knew the established limitations and possibilities for an artist’s self-depiction in the preceding era. Nevertheless, the features mobilized by Horamenyankhu to emphasize his position and the degree to which he was able to develop them are unprecedented, both in the preserved Old Kingdom and in the contemporary Middle Kingdom corpus.109 From the point of view of the art historian looking at the big picture, Horamenyankhu’s self-depictions anticipate the representational development of artists during the New Kingdom.

  • 110  Nevertheless, contrary to what one might think, we encounter slightly more recorded superiors of a (...)
  • 111  Laboury 2015.
  • 112  Even during the New Kingdom, artists are rarely depicted with one of their tools outside the works (...)
  • 113  In his paper, D. Laboury proposed that Userhat was in charge of this tomb decoration and was perha (...)
  • 114  Feucht 2006, pl. IV and XX.
  • 115  Zivie 2013, pp. 33–40, see also pp. 119–121, pl. 15. Other draughtsmen represented in this tomb al (...)
  • 116  Davies 1925, pl. XI.
  • 117  Davies 1905, pl. XVIII.
  • 118  Hofmann 1995, pl. X (a).

24During the New Kingdom, a larger socio-professional range of people that had hardly been represented in previous periods, reached a more prominent form of commemoration. Correspondingly, we are able to record more than 340 artist’s portraits for this period.110 Artists—and more precisely draughtsmen—were increasingly represented on tomb walls in the roles mentioned above, and these depictions more often explicitly emphasized their profession. This is the case, for instance, of the draughtsman Userhat who managed to be depicted twice, sitting among the guests of Amenhotep Sise’s funerary banquet and walking at the end of an offering procession on the south wall of TT75 (time of Thutmosis IV).111 Unfortunately, the latter depiction is badly damaged, but the painting palette112 that he holds in both scenes can still be clearly seen.113 Furthermore, the chief draughtsman Hori, depicted himself in an unusual double scene with his painting palette represented upright behind his seat in his tomb (TT259, 20th Dynasty).114 Earlier, the chief draughtsman Thutmose was depicted in what Alain Zivie has named his “autoportrait à la palette” (I19, Bubasteion, time of Amenhotep III-Akhenaton).115 Painting palettes are also found in Pasanesu depiction (TT181, Thebes, time of Amenhotep III-Akhenaton),116 Iuty’s portrait in Huya’s chapel (TA1, Amarna, time of Akhenaton),117 or Pahemnejter’s representation in Neferrenpet/Kenro’s tomb (TT178, Thebes, time of Ramses II).118

  • 119  While we observe few New Kingdom artists depicted with a censer (e.g., the graffito of a sculptor (...)
  • 120  Even though we do not have explicit textual proof of New Kingdom visitors to Djehutihotep’s chapel (...)

25These New Kingdom artists’ representations differ greatly from the previous ones, in terms of how the depiction personalizes the individuals concerned with their distinctive professional tools. Although Horamenyankhu’s attempt to enhance his social position as a literate artist in the colossus scene—by merging two iconographic patterns—remains to our knowledge an unicum,119 from an etic point of view, his depictions seem an important milestone, anticipating what will come next.120

Conclusion

26Djehutihotep’s funerary chapel preserves the images of some of the main actors who were vital to its conception and production. While the representations of two of them—Nekhtiankh’s son Sepi and Abihu’s son Sep, presumably the officials in charge of the construction of the tomb—are traditional in appearance and setting, a third one clearly stands out. By his titles, the artist Horamenyankhu can be identified as the senior artist of the tomb, with the ritual and literary knowledge required for this function. Horamenyankhu represents himself in an unusually prominent manner, by using several visual techniques to his advantage.

27When comparing Horamenyankhu with early and late Middle Kingdom examples of self-depictions of artists, it appears that he did not follow the general trend of communal, funerary commemorative depiction, as did most of his colleagues. By contrast, Horamenyankhu’s self-depictions seem to directly derive from the Old Kingdom tradition of artist representation. Moreover, he skilfully merged two already-known motifs—that of the priest-artist and that of the ritualist in front of the deceased’s statue—to enhance the specificity of his function. While these and other visual tools were occasionally applied in Middle Kingdom tomb iconography, they were never used and combined on the same scale. Furthermore, from the etic point of view of an art historian, Horamenyankhu’s representations are bridges between what we know of Old Kingdom artists’ self-depictions and the further development of artists’ portraiture during the New Kingdom.

  • 121  Although we do not have explicit statements from the tomb that could support this hypothesis, seve (...)
  • 122  It would be tempting to understand Horamenyankhu’s involvement in the creation of Djehutihotep’s t (...)

28Horamenyankhu’s prominence in the iconographic program of Djehutihotep’s tomb cannot have gone unnoticed by the person for whom the tomb was intended. This suggests that the tomb owner intentionally showcased the artist who was assigned or requested to create his funerary monument. As such, the royal artist Horamenyankhu seems to have supported the wish of the governor to distinguish himself from his predecessors by creating an architecturally, iconographically and artistically exceptional monument. The display of his name and function, which are not only acknowledged but even emphasized in the tomb, may have served as additional markers of quality. This would not only have been beneficial for the artist, but more significantly for the tomb owner, whose prestige would have been enhanced by his ability to hire such a person,121 whose service may have been granted to him as a royal gift.122 It then becomes less surprising that Djehutihotep allowed his chief artist to depict himself in an unprecedented and visually prominent manner in some of the main focal points of his funerary chapel, including the famous colossus scene.

Acknowledgments

29We thank our PhD supervisors, Prof. Dr. Dimitri Laboury (F.R.S. Research Director, ULiege) and Prof. Dr. Harco Willems (Director Dayr al‑Barshā Project, KU Leuven), for their helpful remarks. We are indebted to Prof. Dr. Kathlyn M. Cooney and Carolyn Patrick who proofread the paper. All remaining mistakes are the authors’ responsibility.

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Notes

1  The often used designation ‘Djehutihotep II’ was based on an erroneous reading of nḫt as ḥtp in the name of the governor mentioned in Hatnub Gr. 32 by Rudolf Anthes (1928, p. 67, note 2). In reality, the hieratic fits the reading Ḏḥwty⸗nḫt better, suggesting that the document is a record of Djehutinakht V instead. Consequently, there is no reason we should include an otherwise unattested governor ‘Djehutihotep I’ into the genealogy. For this discussion, see also: Brovarski 1981, p. 27, note 107; Willems 1983-1984, p. 82, note 20. We are grateful to Roland Enmarch for providing us with an image of the original graffito. The KU Leuven is currently preparing a renewed epigraphic documentation of the tomb within the project ‘Puzzling Tombs’ (nr. 3H170337), which is funded by the KU Leuven Bijzonder Onderzoeksfonds. For this project, see also Sykora et al. in press.

2  Most notably the titles ỉm.y-r ḥm.w-nṯr, ‘overseer of priests’ and ḥr.y-tp ʾȝ n Wn.t, ‘great overlord of the Hare Nome.’ For an (incomplete) overview, see Newberry 1894, pp. 6–7.

3  Newberry 1894, p. 6, pl. V.

4  A cylinder seal mentioning both Senwosret (presumably III) and Nimaatra (Amenemhat III) was found among his funerary equipment: Griffith, Newberry 1895, pp. 59, 66; Newberry 1908, pl. VI, no. 15. For the discussion concerning the coregency between Senwosret III and Amenemhat III, see Wegner 1996, pp. 249–279 with more recent critical notes by Vogel 2018, pp. 225–232 and Haney 2018, pp. 85–91.

5  These refer once to Amenemhat II and Senwosret III and twice to Senwosret II: Newberry 1894, p. 6, pl. V.

6  For a basic overview of the architecture of the decorated tombs in zone 2, see Griffith, Newberry 1895.

7  Even the façade of Ahanakht I, which is the most impressive (partially) preserved example, does not include any figurative scenes: Griffith, Newberry 1895, pl. XIII. The only tomb that seems to have had a similar plan to the funerary chapel of Djehutihotep is the northernmost tomb on the plateau (17L41/1). This tomb remained unfinished and undecorated, however. The architectural “innovation” may well have been inspired by slightly earlier traditions in other Middle Kingdom cemeteries (e.g. the tombs of Amenemhat and Khnumhotep II at Banī Hasan: Griffith, Newberry 1893; Kanawati, Evans 2014a; 2016). This instance of “creative borrowing” (for this concept in iconography and sculpture, see Laboury 2017, pp. 229–258) blended with other motifs such as the fully decorated outer walls and the lotus columns—perhaps inspired by Old Kingdom examples (which would fit well with the thesis proposed by Pieke 2016).

8  While most of the other governors’ tombs are heavily damaged, their floor plans and approximate heights can be reconstructed. Furthermore, at least several fragments of their decoration are preserved, making such a comparison possible.

9  This approximate figure includes the fully decorated ceilings, and the geometric and monochrome painted sections on the walls.

10  Pieke 2016.

11  While a full investigation is beyond the scope of this paper, the composer of the texts in the tomb of Djehutihotep manifestly invokes Old Egyptian orthography. For example, this is, though not exclusively, apparent in the investiture inscription on the north wall of the shrine (Newberry 1894, pl. XXXIII), where the scribe used the typical Old Egyptian form of several personal pronouns (⸗ỉ, Image , w(ỉ) Image : Edel 1955, pp. 70, 75. It should be noted that Image is only used in religious texts and otherwise left unwritten: Schenkel 1962, pp. 42–43) or in demonstrative pronouns (ỉptn Image : Allen 2000 (ed. 2014), p. 67). He also employs the abbreviated .w(y) Image ending of the dual adjectival sentence (Gardiner 1927 (ed. 1957), p. 47) and an ideographic writing Image of the verb sḏm (Wb IV, 384). Other examples from texts in the tomb of Djehutihotep with references to older stages of Egyptian grammar have already been recognized by Andreas Stauder (2014a, p. 108; 2014b, pp. 116–118).

12  Among others by Smith 1951, p. 322; Favry 2005, p. 56; Kamrin 2015, p. 29. It should be emphasized that the corpus of elite provincial tombs of the Middle Kingdom is often insufficiently published to properly consider artistic style and quality. Consequently, statements like these must always be regarded with utmost caution.

13  That Djehutihotep aimed to let his monument stand out between those of his illustrious forebears is revealed by a proud statement in his tomb chapel where he claims: “The lords (ḥȝ.tyw-ʿ) who acted previously, and the senior officials (ʿḍ.w-mr) who acted [before?] in this city, (…) their mind could not have envisioned this which I have done.” Lines 10‑11 of the colossus inscription: Newberry 1895, pl. XIV. This description is probably not a boast concerning the construction of his tomb, but rather about the famous transport of the colossus or the construction of the edifice for which it was meant.

14  “Self-thematisation.” For this concept, see Assmann 1987; Assmann 1996. Central to this concept is the acknowledgement that it is not primarily the “self” of the artist that is elucidated by his self-image, but rather the intention of his patron in whose monument the representation appears.

15  They occur throughout the main chamber of the tomb: Newberry 1894, pls. X, XI, XIII, XV (behind the colossus), XX (eastern panel), XXVII.5 & 11 and XXIX.

16  Because of its rarity, the title sš-hn is difficult to interpret. Besides an isolated and barely informative attestation on the Abydene stela CG 20216 (Lange, Schäfer 1902, pp. 238–239), the title only occurs on sources from Dayr al‑Barshā during the Middle Kingdom. Kamal’s proposition (1902, p. 280) to translate hn as ‘coffin’ in this context was rightly questioned by Henry G. Fischer (Fischer 1985 (ed. 1997), p. 75, no. 1397), who follows William A. Ward’s (1982, p. 181, no. 1397) translation of ‘document chest.’ The most informative source to assess the meaning of the title is the tomb under study, where we see sš.w-hn not only being represented among the titles of Sepi but also as the label of two anonymous figures on the walls of the inner chamber. A large cattle count scene on the west wall (Newberry 1894, pl. XVIII, lower righthand bottom) includes a sš-hn holding two papyrus scrolls, with a third (not visible on Newberry’s facsimile) under his arm and additional bundles of scrolls in front. Another sš-hn is represented on the north wall among a group of high officials of the provincial administration (Newberry 1894, pl. XX, eastern section). The officials seem to be arranged loosely in order of precedence, with Djehutihotep’s sons in the primary location, followed by the treasurer Nefer. The unnamed sš-hn is placed in the next column, between three other senior officials: an overseer of the army (not visible in Newberry’s copy), an overseer of the fields and a steward. Taken together, these sources suggest that the sš-hn was one of the most senior scribes in the provincial administration at this point, overseeing important administrative activities such as the cattle count and, at least in Sepi’s case, activities of labour. The sš-hn seems to have performed a regional function similar to the sš ʿ(n) nsw.t in the central administration (for this title, see Grajetzki 2003, pp. 174–175), and may have been its provincial equivalent in the Hare Nome at this time. This is tentatively suggested by the (exclusive) appearance of both sš-hn and sš ʿn nsw.t among the titles on the coffin ensemble of another Djehutihotep from Dayr al‑Barshā (Kamal 1902, pp. 277–280. For a reinvestigation of the funerary assemblage to which these belonged, see Rigault, Delange 2009; Willems 2021, pp. 465–468).

17  Newberry 1894, pl. XI and XXVII.

18  Newberry 1894, pl. XV.

19  This may also be explained by his comparatively high office (see footnote 16 above), however. Even if this is the case, it remains remarkable that no other official receives the same preferential treatment.

20  P.E. Newberry (1894, p. 17) and later Hermann Ranke (PN I, p. 59, no. 22.) read the name with some hesitation as ‘Ab-kau.’ Nevertheless, an existing variant where the is spelled out makes the reading ʿb-ỉḥw more plausible: Fischer 1968, pl. XXIV.

21  To our knowledge ḫrp ỉs only occurs once more, at the very end of the autobiography of Khnumhotep II in Banī Hasan, where it is a secondary title of Khnumhotep’s treasurer, Baqet (Newberry, Griffith 1893, pl. XXVI, 222; Kanawati, Evans 2014b, pl. 114, 222). The relatively high office of Baqet and the unconventional placement of his label in the tomb may suggest that he was the main official responsible for its construction, but this remains speculative.

22  P.E. Newberry (1894, p. 17), followed by Kurt Sethe (Urk. VII, p. 50c). although a direct connection of Sepi with the construction of the tomb may be implicitly suggested (Wb III, 326.13), it cannot be unequivocally accepted based on the title alone.

23  See footnote 16.

24  Among Djehutihotep’s attendants on the west wall and above a row of sealers on the north wall: Newberry 1894, pl. XIII and XX.

25  For the incense-burner held by the man, see Blackman 1912.

26  Or ‘painter.’ For the meaning of ḳd.wt in this title, see Laboury 2016, p. 379, footnote 22.

27  Newberry 1894, p. 20, pl. XII.

28  MS Wilkinson dep. a. 17, fol. 16. We are indebted to the Bodleian Library in Oxford for allowing us to study the facsimile.

29  Ware 1927, p. 191; Urk. VII, p. 50b; Fischer 1985 (ed. 1997), p. 76, no. 1446; Davies 1999, p. 34.

30  Now preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, NAF 20404, p. 25.

31  Ward (1982, p. 166, no. 1446) only cites one other example, the sš ḳd.wt n pr-nsw.t m pr-nsw.t Mry-ỉb-rʿ ỉrỉ.n Sȝ.t-ḫwfw, a friend of the stela owner. Tellingly, this time it is also combined with the title of (chief) lector-priest: Lange, Schäfer 1908, p. 55, CG 20457‑i.

32  Willems 2021, pp. 476–477.

33  A similar argument has already been put forward by Gabi Pieke (2016, p. 103).

34  We are grateful to Julian Bosch for his helpful discussion on this peculiar case.

35  Newberry 1894, p. 20; PN I, pp. 31, no. 11; Ware 1927, p. 191.

36  ʿpr Ḥr, ‘adorner of Horus:’Fischer 1985 (ed. 1997), p. 29, nr. 1609b. Davies’ (1999, p. 34) observation, based on a nineteenth century photograph, that the sign had two protrusions at the bottom, is unfounded. Verification on the preserved original (fig. 5) has shown that the shape is not unlike the ʿpr -sign in the seventh line of the colossus inscription, documented by Lepsius’ squeeze (BBAW, A.123/4-5) albeit slightly less elongated.

37  Which explains why Newberry (1894, pl. XXXII and XXXIV) only copied some of the still visible signs.

38  For the use of double names in the (Late) Middle Kingdom, see Vernus 1986.

39  Geneva stela D 50 includes two family members named Ḥr-Ỉmn.y: Spiegelberg, Pörtner 1902; Willems 1983, pp. 154–157. Ranke (PN I, p. 240, note 1.) suggests that one should read the Ḥr as a filiation, but there is no obvious reason to do so. On the contrary, such a reading is excluded for several other people on the same stela.

40  For the concordance of Amenemhat II and Ameny, see for example: Grajetzki 2006, p. 45. The name may also refer to the founder of the dynasty, whose abbreviated name to Ameny is well attested.

41  Newberry 1894, pl. XI and XXIV.

42  For the position of these depictions, see Newberry 1894 pl. XV, XXXII and XXXIV.

43  With the exception of Sepi and Nehri in the colossus scene. It is of note that both were likely later additions.

44  The lower register was also fully cut in relief, the significance of which remains unclear.

45  Even the two figures standing on the statue are only partially sculpted in relief, with their upper bodies being only painted.

46  A diagonal strap and covered back: Forshaw 2014, pp. 7–8.

47  This hairstyle occurs only once more, on a decorated wall fragment (Dayr al‑Barshā Project, no. 1061/10). Since its original placement is unknown, it may well have belonged to a depiction of the same person (see above).

48  Anthes 1928, p. 17, Inschr. XIII.

49  We are grateful to Roland Enmarch for sharing this information.

50  Now in the archives of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Inv. 3670/1-2. I am indebted to Silke Grallert who kindly supplied me with the required visual record to study the squeeze in detail.

51  Anthes 1928, Tf. 8, Inschr. XIII.

52  Anthes (1928, p. 17) expresses doubt on this last sign, but from the squeeze, it appears clear that it depicts a quail, not a vulture.

53  Anthes 1928, p. 17.

54  Hans Goedicke (1959, p. 58) reads it as a father’s name Ḥtp, but this does not accord with the form of the preserved signs. The t-sign copied by Anthes may simply outline a damaged area and the proposed ḫȝs.t -sign, though clear in its hieratic equivalent, may instead be interpreted differently. Possible alternatives are: ỉmy-r ḥmw.w ẖr.t(yw)- [nṯr], ‘the overseer of the artists and stonemasons,’ though no nṯr-sign is preserved; or ỉmy-r ḥmw.w 60, ‘the overseer of 60 artists.’ For paleographic equivalents of these signs, see Möller 1909, nos. 322, 397 and 628.

55  If the same individual is indeed depicted here, this would suggest that we should read the name as Ḥr-ỉmn.y, ʿnḫ.w instead of Ḥr, ỉmn.y-ʿnḫ.w.

56  The god Amun was rarely included in Middle Kingdom names from the Hare nome. The only exceptions are the two records under study, and the name of governor Amenemhat. This may strengthen the hypothesis that both attestations stem from the same individual.

57  This does not necessarily speak against the identification, since the memorial may not have been produced by the very artist it commemorates.

58  We will use the term « thematization » and « portrait » in the sense defined by Jan Assmann (1987 and 1996). On the concept of portraiture and how to define it, see Laboury 2009, 2010 and 2016-2017.

59  On this concept, see Arnold 1962, p. 128, quoted by Hartwig 2004, p. 17, footnote 99.

60  Examples used in this perspective were discussed more extensively in Alisée Devillers’ PhD thesis (funded by a non‑FRIA and a F.R.S.‑FNRS doctoral grants), which aimed to study the modalities of pictorial representation of artists in Ancient Egyptian art. These depictions were used to investigate the social status of artists in Pharaonic culture and the collective mind. In this research, the author tried to adopt an emic point of view by studying all the socio‑professional categories linked with the production qualified by the term ḥmw.t, the Egyptian equivalent of what we can call “art” “(…) from a broader and more anthropological vantage point, (i.e) an aesthetic statement recognized as such in a given society” (Laboury, Devillers in press). For a more in-depth discussion about the first results of A. Devillers’ PhD thesis, see Devillers forthcoming.

61  By “communal monuments”, we refer to artefacts that depict several people without the possibility, for Egyptologists, to designate the main owner. We recognize the emergence or increase of this kind of commemorative media during political and economic instability.

62  In this regard, Irtysen’s stela—which is often cited when Middle Kingdom artists are considered—is very much an exception (for a recent study, see Stauder 2018). Therefore, the following comparison with other self‑presentations of Middle Kingdom artists does not take this abnormal case into consideration.

63  The insightful paper of Danijela Stefanović on the attestations of painters on Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period sources presents some of these occurrences (Stefanovic 2012). Most of these artefacts came from Abydos and, specifically, from the Terrace of the Great God (studied by Simpson 1974). One should keep in mind that Simpson’s study is a rare exception in the relatively scarce documentation for this era, and consequently Abydos is most probably over-represented in the corpus.

64  Lange, Schäfer 1902, pl. LIV; Lange, Schäfer 1908, pp. 341–342.

65  Detlev Franke (1984, nos. 680 and 449) and D. Stefanović (2012, p. 186) have argued that Sennefer was also the owner of stela Cairo CG 20128. While this may be the case, the lack of titles on the second stela makes it of limited use for our study.

66  One of these is linked with three names: the sš-ḳd.wt Nen, the ḳs.ty Senebef and the sš-ḳd.wt Sennefer (Lange, Schäfer 1908, p. 342).

67  Inepunakht (2nd register), Khakaura (3rd register), and Ipy’s son Sennefer (4th register) could be the owner’s sons but we cannot be sure of the genealogical information included here (Stefanovic 2012, pp. 186–188).

68  Stefanovic 2012, pp. 186; Quirke 2003, pp. 90–91; Franke 1984, nos. 45a and 129. Furthermore, he left two graffiti on Sehel island (Gasse, Rondot 2007, nos. 168–169).

69  Simpson 1974, ANOC 30.

70  Lange, Schäfer 1902, pl. LIV; Lange, Schäfer 1908, pp. 349–352.

71  This is actually a common trend throughout the Pharaonic era. Although one may think that artists were best positioned to play with visual codes to enhance their socio-professional categories, few of them were actually depicted with visual markers of their profession. They usually preferred to comply with the traditional repertoire but occasionally played with motifs that alluded to their craftsmanship by the quality of their commemorative monuments.

72  We can mention for instance the statue of the overseer of the department of draughtsmen, Sebekur (Cairo CG 476) (Stefanovic 2012, p. 185 and Borchardt 1925, pl. 79).

73  We know of three more artists depicted in Middle Kingdom tombs. In addition to the following examples, one nby and ms-ʿȝ.t is represented on the still remaining door-jambs (Cairo CG 20630) of his now lost Abydene chapel (Lange, Schäfer 1902, pp. 268–269; Mariette 1880, p. 340, no. 950).

74  Newberry, Griffith 1893, p. 2; Kamrin 1999, 31; Kanawati, Evans 2014a, pl. 120.

75  Furthermore, his name is hardly noticeable for the visitor, given the location of the workshop scene (Kanawati, Evans 2014a, pl. 25; Newberry, Griffith 1893, pl. XXIX). In this chapel, the title ḫrp ỉs borne by Abihu’s son, Sep, is also recorded. Its holder, Baqet, ḫrp ỉs and treasurer, appears twice in Khnumhotep II’s tomb. Although, considering his high administrative title—with no direct connections to artistic production—, we can assume that he was the main overseer of the tomb construction, perhaps in the same vein as Nekhtiankh’s son Sepi.

76  Newberry, Griffith 1893, pl. XXX and XXXV.

77  Kanawati, Evans 2014a, pl. 55(a) and pl. 95(b).

78  Blackman 1915, pl. XXIII.

79  Kahl 2016, pl. 41.

80  Kahl 2016, p. 18, pl. 41.

81  Kahl 2016, pp. 20–21.

82  Jochem Kahl proposes that Ptah-em-saef may have been inspired by monuments in the residence when creating several of the ceiling patterns in the transversal hall of this tomb (Kahl 2016, p. 18). More explicit motifs from royal iconography may have also been borrowed (Kahl 2012, p. 177). Furthermore, it seems that the funerary equipment of the tomb was produced in the workshops of the royal Residence (Kahl 2012, pp. 176–177).

83  It is the largest extant elite tomb from the time: Kahl 2012, p. 177.

84  Pieke 2016; Stauder 2014a and 2014b. See also footnote 11.

85  On this matter, see Barta 2020, pp. 320, 346ff.

86  At least 14 artists owned a tomb during the 5th and 6th Dynasty (see Devillers 2021).

87  Hermann Junker’s seminal book did record the major artists’ portraits for this period (Junker 1959) and Naguib Kanawati and Alexandra Woods’ study supplemented this list with more up-to-date data (Kanawati, Woods 2009). Furthermore, Chauvet 2005 offers an overview of the multiple roles Old Kingdom artist could fulfil and discusses how they could have taken part in the effective functioning of the necropoleis.

88  The chapel was studied by Kanawati, Evans 2014b.

89  See on this matter Junker 1956.

90  The following description is based on pictures and drawings from Kanawati, Evans 2015, pl. 10b, 11b, 73.

91  To our knowledge, this is the only statue depicted as such in the entire chapel. Therefore, it would be tempting to see in this detail the artist’s desire to specify how he skilfully realized a skeuomorphic statue. Even if the original material of this statue was wood, painting wood veins on a plastered wood item is known from elsewhere (it is well attested in several examples, for instance Iyerniutef’s shawabti boxes, see Angenot 2017, pp. 413–415; on skeuomorphism, see Seigneau 2018, Angenot 2017 and 2011).

92  The representation of unfinished decoration and the addition of a little figure on the chest are uncommon. This artefact also appears, this time fully completed, on the northern side of the architrave, on the west wall of room 4 (Kanawati, Evans 2014b, pl. 87).

93  Here, we use the term “signature” when the creator of a composition is allowed to put his name and sometimes his face on a monument in the case of “self-portrait in assistenza” (for this concept developed for Renaissance art by André Chastel (Chastel 1971) applied to Egyptology, see Laboury 2015, pp. 327–330) in a cultural context where the art was often eponymous (on this concept of an eponymous ancient Egyptian art, see Assmann 1987 and 1996).

94  For years, scholars used to consider that each time we encounter an individualized artist, he was the creator of the artwork where his name appears. However, this proposal is poorly rooted in actual evidence. Rather, it seems to be the consequence of the long-standing but erroneous assumption that artists appear only rarely on our documentation and that, when they appear, it is only in order to sign their work, a practice that has been interpreted in relation to their wages. Recent studies have challenged these assumptions and suggested various reasons to explain the presence of an artist’s name or depiction. When reconsidering the so-called “artist’s signatures” in ancient Egyptological literature, and given the aforementioned observations, Ihyemsapepy/Iri and Sesheshen’s case can be interpreted as visual signatures.

95  For this famous case, see Laboury 2016, pp. 379–381; Kanawati, Woods 2009, pp. 10 and 65; Kanawati 1980, pp. 19–21, fig. 9, pl. 6. The next sentences summarized Dimitri Laboury’s interpretation of the case.

96  It seems that Kaihep’s tomb was completed after his son’s chapel. Shepsipumin/Kheni  did indeed claim that he took part in his father’s tomb building in an inscription at the entrance of Kaihep’s chapel (Kanawati 1980, pp. 19–20).

97  The other sš-ḳd.wt n pr-ʿȝ (Cairo CG 20457) mentioned above is also an interesting case since his label is the most lengthy one on this stela, even though this monument was not his own.

98  Although the brothers are linked with the Residence, Christiane Ziegler (1990, pp. 164–166) and N. Kanawati and A. Woods (2009, pp. 19–20) have already pointed out that they may have been born in the province, made their careers (or at least the first part of their careers) in the capital before returning to their home town. This hypothesis is based on the appearance of a certain sḥḏ sš-ḳd.wt Seni on a rectangular stela found in the necropolis of El‑Hawawish (Louvre Museum C 234). However, this remains currently unprovable as Seni and Izezi do not mention any of their kinship links in the above-mentioned tombs.

99  On this matter, see Chauvet 2015.

100  Chauvet 2015, pp. 70ff.

101  Chauvet 2015, p. 70.

102  Chauvet 2015, p. 70; Kanawati 2012, pl. 79 and 88.

103  Petrie, Murray 1952, pl. XIV.

104  Chauvet 2015, p. 64.

105  This pattern was notably studied by Simon Delvaux in his PhD thesis entitled Étude sur les modes de transport terrestre en Égypte de l’Ancien au Nouvel Empire (unpublished) and defended in 2016 at the University Paul Valéry – Montpellier III.

106  On this matter, see, e.g., Chauvet 2015; Rizzo 2015; von Lieven 2007; Kruchten 1992; and Derchain 1990.

107  For examples of this corpus, see Chauvet 2015.

108  Pieke 2016; Stauder 2014a, p. 180; Stauder 2014b, pp. 116–118. See also footnote 11.

109  With the exception of Irtysen’s stela, which was not taken into account in this paper, see footnote 68.

110  Nevertheless, contrary to what one might think, we encounter slightly more recorded superiors of artists (44% of the corpus) in the New Kingdom than for previous periods (40% for the Old Kingdom and 36% for the Middle Kingdom) (Devillers 2021).

111  Laboury 2015.

112  Even during the New Kingdom, artists are rarely depicted with one of their tools outside the workshop scenes (even there, the named artists do not consistently have a tool in hand). When they are holding something, it is often the scribal palette, to emphasize their affiliation with the scribe’s profession (on this topic, see, e.g., Ragazzoli 2016 and Den Doncker 2019). These two socio-professional categories seemed to be closely linked, as the case of Meryra of Esna exemplifies (Laboury 2016). Therefore, this case and the one to be discussed next are exceptional in that they depict the painting palette, not the scribal one.

113  In his paper, D. Laboury proposed that Userhat was in charge of this tomb decoration and was perhaps also the creator of the composition depicted in Thutmosis IV’s festival courtyard (Laboury 2015). Following this hypothesis, Amenhotep Sise, the tomb owner, would be the superior of Userhat, as they both worked in the same administration at Karnak Temple. For the New Kingdom, it is common to observe artists appearing in their colleagues’ or chiefs’ tombs, as it is the case with the treasurer Maya (for a study of this tomb and its iconographic program, see Martin 2012). One might see in this gathering of colleagues on tomb walls a wider transposition of the Middle Kingdom communal stela.

114  Feucht 2006, pl. IV and XX.

115  Zivie 2013, pp. 33–40, see also pp. 119–121, pl. 15. Other draughtsmen represented in this tomb also hold such a palette (Zivie 2013, pl. 12, 29 and 35).

116  Davies 1925, pl. XI.

117  Davies 1905, pl. XVIII.

118  Hofmann 1995, pl. X (a).

119  While we observe few New Kingdom artists depicted with a censer (e.g., the graffito of a sculptor at Serabit el‑Khadim, see Gardiner, Peet 1917, pl. LXVII, no. 234) or represented in front of a statue (for instance, a draughtsman in chief before the deceased’s statue in a now-ruined chapel, see PM III, pp. 571–572), the new iconographic pattern created by Horamenyankhu does not seem to have been followed in the New Kingdom. Despite this, New Kingdom artists continue to function as ritualists and are sometimes represented as such. In this regard, the new title of sʿnḫ, for sculptor, particularly emphasizes the specificity of their profession. On this title, see Rizzo 2015. The question of the initiation was also mentioned in the “curriculum vitae” of some high ranked artists as Userhat-Hatiay, to whom the stela alludes his initiation into the House of Gold (see, e.g., von Lieven 2007, pp. 148 and 150, or Kruchten 1992). Some priests-artists are, for instance, depicted in scenes of the Opening of the Mouth ritual. Thanks to Robert Hay’s and J.G. Wilkinson’s drawings of the now-ruined tomb of the priest Kynebu (TT113) (20th Dynasty, time of Ramses VIII), we know for example that the famous Deir el‑Medina draughtsman Amenhotep, son of Amennakhte, was depicted in this tomb as a lector priest performing this ritual in front of the deceased’s mummy (Bacs 2011, p. 35). The chapel is unfortunately badly damaged, but the stylistic study of what remains shows that the decoration was most probably made by Amenhotep himself, whose style is well known thanks to the study of Cathleen A. Keller (e.g., Keller 2003). This representation thus seems to be a visually implicit signature, although we cannot determine to what extent Amenhotep was able to stand out within the now lost iconographic program.

120  Even though we do not have explicit textual proof of New Kingdom visitors to Djehutihotep’s chapel, the nearby presence of a quarry used by the time of Thutmosis III (Klemm, Klemm 2009, p. 217; Luft 2011) would suggest that the Middle Kingdom provincial necropolis was known and likely visited at this time. Furthermore, figurative graffiti left in this tomb before the addition of Coptic crosses, included copies of signs or symbols from Djehutihotep’s iconographic program. Unfortunately, there is currently no possibility to further narrow down the date of these graffiti.

121  Although we do not have explicit statements from the tomb that could support this hypothesis, several cases of artists’ appearances on tomb walls, like the case of Userhat in TT75 (studied by Laboury 2015), tend to confirm this idea.

122  It would be tempting to understand Horamenyankhu’s involvement in the creation of Djehutihotep’s tomb as part of the royal gift granted to the nomarch by the Residence. It would recall the case of Sarenput I whose autobiographies may imply that the construction of his tomb and the production of his funerary equipment greatly benefited from the king’s largesse (Favry 2005, pp. 278–284, and, in particular pp. 280–282). Furthermore, the scenario elaborated by some scholars for Seni, could also be applicable here (see footnote 96). If Horamenyankhu and Djehutihotep became similarly acquainted at an earlier stage of their career, such a personal connection may also explain the prominence of the artist in the monument of the official. We thank here Prof. Dr. D. Laboury for the stimulating discussions we had on this question.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1. Reconstruction drawing of the tombs of Djehutihotep (left) and Amenemhat (right).
Crédits © M. Hense/Dayr al‑Barshā Project
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13407/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 881k
Titre Fig. 2. Details from the decoration in the tomb of Djehutihotep: Two offering bearers carrying fowl on the lowermost register of the east wall of the shrine (a, left) and a Tilapia caught in a net, from the fishing scene on the north wall of the inner chamber (b, right).
Crédits © M. De Meyer/Dayr al‑Barshā Project
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13407/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,4M
Titre Fig. 3. Representation of Nekhti-ankh’s son Sepi, from the east wall of the inner chamber.
Crédits © M. De Meyer/Dayr al‑Barshā Project
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13407/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,5M
Titre Fig. 4. Representation of Ab-ihu’s son Sep, from the north wall of the inner chamber.
Crédits © Dayr al‑Barshā Project/M. De Meyer
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13407/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,9M
Titre Pl. 1. Epigraphic drawing of Hor-ameny-ankhu with colours indicated in grayscales, the part of the title sequence which was reconstructed from early copies is indicated in blue.
Crédits © Dayr al-Barshā Project, T. Sykora
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13407/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 755k
Titre Fig. 5. Representation of Hor-ameny-ankhu, from the west wall of the inner chamber.
Crédits © Dayr al‑Barshā Project/M. De Meyer
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13407/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,4M
Titre Fig. 6. The representations of Hor-ameny-ankhu on the west (a, left) and east (b, right) walls of the shrine.
Crédits © Dayr al‑Barshā Project/M. De Meyer
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13407/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 3,4M
Titre Fig. 7.Squeezes from Hatnub Graffito XIII, BBAW A.3670/1-2.
Crédits © Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften/S. Grallert
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13407/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,8M
Titre Fig. 8. Stela Cairo CG 20715 (after Lange, Schäfer 1902, pl. LIV).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13407/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,6M
Titre Fig. 9. False-door of Djefau (Saqqara, mastaba L55) (after Petrie, Murray 1952, pl. XIV).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13407/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,5M
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Alisée Devillers et Toon Sykora, « Enhancing Visibility: Djehutihotep’s Painter Horamenyankhu

من أجل رؤية أفضل: رَسَّام ﺪﭼحوتي حتب المدعو حورآمون يانخو »
Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale (BIFAO), 123 | 2023, 53-81.

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Alisée Devillers et Toon Sykora, « Enhancing Visibility: Djehutihotep’s Painter Horamenyankhu

من أجل رؤية أفضل: رَسَّام ﺪﭼحوتي حتب المدعو حورآمون يانخو »
Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale (BIFAO) [En ligne], 123 | 2023, mis en ligne le 16 juillet 2023, consulté le 12 juin 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/13407 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/bifao.13407

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Auteurs

Alisée Devillers

B.A.E.F. Post-doctoral Fellow, UCLA

Toon Sykora

PhD student, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

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