The Statue of Kaipunesut dates back to the fourth dynasty in the Old Kingdom of Egypt. It was excavated at Saqqara, a vast burial ground. This specific piece was located at the mastaba of Kaemheset, which was Kaipunesut’s brother. It was carved out of acacia wood which is a native timber of Egypt. The native wood did not create the highest standard of sculpture because it was knotty and fibrous which made it difficult to use. The wood was usually painted with bright colors; the body was most likely a reddish/brown color. Although most of this sculpture was preserved, the paint wore off long ago. His belt has his name and “Royal Carpenter” inscribed which suggested his occupation. It is possible that he was involved with making his own wooden statues. Sculptures based on royalty was made with hard stone to last forever while others of less importance were sculpted with various materials that were not necessarily meant to last.
This sculpture is in the round and closed. It has no back rest or support. There are no spaces in the body and the arms are very close to the sides. The pose was very formal with weight put on both legs and facing a frontal direction. The figure is stylized. His face has very large, semicircular eyes and elongated lips. Also, he has broad shoulders and a very thin waist. His fist also appears to be very large. His belt and drapery is form fitting but very rigid and does not flow freely. His body is proportional and appears to follow a grid. This might be because of the times when the king or pharaoh demanded perfection. The calf is bulky and does not show definition. The knee appears somewhat organic but is stylized at the same time. Kaipunesut is in a very rigid standing position. His hands are clenched and his arms are straight down on his sides. One of his legs is in front of the other and both knees are locked. This type of formal pose was very common in sculptures during this time and went on for a while afterwards.
Courtney from Study Moose
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