Block Statue of Pe-Kher-Kons
The Block Statue of Pe-Kher-Kons was created by an anonymous Egyptian artist between 946 and 736 BC (The third intermediate period) (The Art Walters Museum). The artistic work was acquired by Henry Walters who placed it in his museum, Walters Art Museum with the accession number 22.210. It was created in Egypt. The art is black owing to its black granite medium. Its height is estimated to be 13 1/4 inches which is equivalent to 33.6 cm (The Art Walters Museum). The Block Statue of Pe-Kher-Kons is a carving of a squatting man with an inscription on the front dress and rear (The Art Walters Museum). The Inscription on the statue’s surface is in hieroglyphs. The squatting man has his knees drawn up towards his chest and his arms folded and placed on the top of his knees. This man is wearing a wide veil that from the look has reduced the body of the sculpture into an almost plain block-like appearance (The Art Walters Museum). Basically, most of the art’s detail is reserved to be viewed on the head of the portrayed individual. In this model, the limbs are retained in the sculpture and the feet fully covered by the cloak. Some sculptures keep the feet of the depicted individuals uncovered (Schulz 3).
The posture of the man can evoke various insights about the nature of the statue. In a typical society, squatting is majorly associated with humility, diffidence, hesitancy, and reserve. The statue of Pe-Kher-Kons depicts a humble personality and devotion to service. These characteristics are majorly attributed to the religious deities. The knees are drawn to the front of the chest and the arms are crossed and placed above the knees. This state could perhaps be a feature of harmlessness. The fact that both the knees and the arms are in a permanent state of calmness portrays the inability of the individual to engage with others.
The body is highly enveloped in the cloak. The artist applies this art to intensify the compactness and the block appearance of the sculpture. There ought to be some interpretation behind this trimness. The only feature that is well marked is the head of the man. Perhaps, it is the most superior part of an individual’s composition. The inscriptions on the surface might be of the personal details of the man; the period of birth, name, date of death and his achievements.
Pe-Kher-Kons is just one of the many block statues in Egypt. Block statues first emerged in Egypt particularly in the middle kingdom in the ancient times. These works of art were majorly for memorial purposes (Schulz 4). Their popularity grew in the new kingdom during the Third Intermediate Period and became the most common in the late kingdom. Typically, the block statues were placed in the temples as funeral monuments for the non-royal but very important individuals. Later, sources of information from the New Kingdom clearly stated that the block posture of the statues was perhaps intended to be similar to that of a guardian seated in the entrance of a temple (Schulz 7). The simplistic shape presented an abundant flat surface for offerings, invocations, and inscriptions.The block statues are of magical purposes. This can be attributed to the Egyptian Belief system. The individuals were believed to stand erect at some moments and go out to perform their daily life chores (Schulz 8). The people represented on the statues were believed to participate in religious rites. Possibly, they were still of great importance to the people even in their absence. Carving sculptures was a perfect way to represent their continued presence and eternity in the lives of their communities. Their good deeds were undying.
Comparison between the Block Statue of Pe-Kher-Kons and Palette of King Narmer
Both the Block Statue of Pe-Kher-Kons and Palette of King Narmer are of vital importance in structuring our understanding of the ancient cultures. They are portrayals of significant individuals in the history of the Egyptians. They both feature male characters on their surfaces perhaps owing to the indisputable fact that men were believed to be a higher creation than women in history.
The Palette of King Narmer displays a royal person unlike the Block Statue of Pe-Kher-Kons which is a representation of a religious dignitary. This explains why the two works have highly distinct postures. Unlike Pe-Kher-Kons who is represented as naturally humble, King Narmer has some powers vested in him. The king even has some individuals in his service; a saddle bearer (Khan Academy). Typically, many people bow in his presence and he even has the authority to set his feet on them. In the art, this is featured by the crown on the man’s head, heads of bulls, a man kneeling before him, and his exceptional height (Khan Academy). Also, there is a symbol of a bull possibly knocking down the walls of a city. The major differences between the two artistic works are majorly due to the fact that one features a master while the other one features a servant.