STATUE OF NEPEH-KA AND HIS WIFE, WAHIT Limestone, Old Kingdom, 4th dynasty (2613-2498 BC) Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum, Hildesheim

STATUE OF NEPEH-KA AND HIS WIFE, WAHIT

Limestone, Old Kingdom, 4th dynasty (2613-2498 BC)
Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum, Hildesheim

Group sculpture representing the noble Nepeh-Ka and his wife, Wahit. The man is dressed in a linen skirt and is wearing a wig that is characteristic of this period of Egyptian history. His left leg is slightly forward. We do not know the meaning or the reason for this characteristic pose in Egyptian sculpture, which was later adopted by the Greeks with the kuroi and korai. To the left of the man is his wife, Wahit, clutching her husband’s arm in a gesture of companionship. She has both feet together fixed to the ground and is wearing a characteristic tight-fitting white linen dress and a wig.

This type of representation is a reflection of the attachment between man and woman in the family unit and the position of equality, of the role of “companion” of the woman with respect to the man.

We do not know if this sculpture was originally polychromed, but it is likely that it was. Men were depicted in reddish colors and women in ochre or yellow tones, standards that constantly repeat themselves in the history of Egyptian art.