Stela of the Sculptor Qen worshipping Amenhotep I and Ahmose-Nefertari

Qen was one of the elite “servants in the Place of Truth,” a society of artists and craftsmen responsible for the construction and decoration of the New Kingdom pharaohs’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings. This stela was discovered in Qen’s tomb at the Deir el-Medina workmen’s settlement in 1862. According to the stela, Qen’s titles were “sculptor of Amun in the Place of Truth” and “sculptor of Amun in Karnak,” implying that he specialised in relief carving.

Qen, his wife Nefertari, and their two sons, Merymery and Huy, are depicted in the lower register of the stela paying tribute to the two seated figures above. These are Amenhotep I, Dynasty 18’s second monarch, and his mother Ahmose-Nefertari. By Dynasty 19, these two deified royal family members had become patrons of the Theban necropolis, particularly of the labourers and their families.

Object Details

Cuff Bracelets Decorated with Cats

New Kingdom, Ramesside

Dynasty 19, reign of Ramesses II

1279–1213 B.C.

Egypt, Luxor, Deir el-Medina, Tomb of Qen (TT 4), König 1862

 Limestone, paint

H. 37.7 × W. 28.6 × Th 5.8 cm, 9.3 kg (14 13/16 × 11 1/4 × 2 5/16 in., 20.4 lb.)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art