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Art and life in ancient Egypt
Art and life in ancient Egypt

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4.1 Exploration

Now look more closely at the painting (Figure 20). What do you notice about the figure of Nebamun himself?

The figure of Nebamun from the hunting fragment
© Trustees of the British Museum
Figure 20 The figure of Nebamun from the hunting fragment (EA 37977)

He is in the prime of life. He has shining skin and a well-proportioned, muscular body. Yet we must remember both that this is elite art and that it is a memorial. This is, at the very least, an idealised image of what Nebamun might once have been, before he became rich and old.

More than that, however, the way the body is represented is not quite what it seems at first glance. As in all Egyptian representations of the human body, the apparent whole is the sum of several surprisingly independent parts.

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EA 37977
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