Art is not just a method of expression, however a view into our past; a preservation of what was prior to us. Through paintings, carvings, statues, and architecture, we travel nearly as if through a time maker, into history from thousands of years earlier. By the careful observation of art pieces that have been left, we can find out tremendously about a culture and its way of life. An art piece that expresses the history and culture from which it comes, really strongly, is the Statuette of Queen Ankhness-Meryre II and her kid, Pepy II.
When accessing this piece one clearly determines a style of strength. Pepy was a king who had among the longest reigns in world history … It is evident through this statuette that he was given a description and look of being extremely effective from the innocent age of 6 at which he became king.
The piece itself was probably gathered from Upper Egypt. It was produced ca. 2288-2224 B.
C.E. during the VI Dynasty in the period of the Old Kingdom. The statuette was formed using Egyptian alabaster which can be compared to a sort of limestone. The size of the piece is fairly little, around 15×9 inches; it seems practically as a trinket which can be used for design atop something. Queen Ankhness-Meryre II is depicted bigger, for that reason when looking at the piece; one’s eyes are drawn straight to her. She is in a sitting position, clothed in an easy long dress which reaches her ankles.
There is really little detail to the shape of her body and her features. Her depiction is rather boring considering that it does not have detail. Though her face looks somewhat larger and disproportional to the rest of her body, her facial expression appears unwinded and at peace. She is wearing a wig with shoulder length hair, but covering that is a head gown proper for a queen. The head dress is slightly carved to show a kind of eagle or vulture with its wings outstretched. The headdress she wears is a clear sign of her status and power as a lady. She shines with strength supremacy.
Towards the front of her head there seems to be damage done to the piece, at first look, though it may seem crazy, it almost looked like a gunshot to her head. That not being the case however, one later realizes that the hole appearing at her forehead was once an insert for a piece that was to be attached. Perhaps the vultures head was supposed to be attached to the hole in front of her head. If that missing piece was there, her statue would look even stronger. In Queen Ankhness-meryre II’s lap sits a young boy, her son King Pepy II. Pepy is very small in size he looks like a young child. The strangeness of the piece is that the mother and son are not looking at each other; rather they are facing different directions, both statues seem very stiff. The only connection they have to each other is through gestures of hand. The queen’s right hand is placed on her son’s knee, and he calmly places his left hand on top of hers. Her left hand is placed on Pepy’s back almost reassuring support to the young king.
Attention to detail is highly lacking in this piece when it comes to features and facial expressions however they did manage to show relationship and support through simple placement of hands. Pepy II, although shown as a young boy sitting on his mother’s lap, he is dressed the way a full grown king would be. He is dressed only wearing a “skirt” to cover him from the waist down along with a head dress. The headdress is that which a king who is in power would wear, it is decorated with a cobra; a deceptive, skillful, and fast animal which when toyed with…will not back down without a fight. By portraying a cobra on his headpiece Pepy II is shown to be an icon of strength from a very early age.
This statuette although carved into two separate figures seemed almost one dimensional since it lacked attention to detail, shading, and shadow. Its representation of human bodies is not quiet realistic but it manages to get a point across. Overall this piece represents strength and power. Power is seen not only through the Queen herself but almost shown passed down to her son Pepy II. This statuette is a nod to the power young Pepy II possessed as a young boy which carried him to be a great King.