Seated Scribe

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  • Topic: The Seated Scribe, Auguste Mariette, Saqqara
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Patel 1Vipul PatelDr. WorleyArt History 130316 September 2008 Seated Scribe
During the years of the Old Kingdom (2575-2150 BCE), Egyptian sculptors producedfigures not only of kings but also of less well-known people (Stokstad 61). In addition, the periodstyle of Egyptian sculptures during this time consisted of forms that were compact, solid, and blocklike, expressing a feeling of strength and permanence (Stokstad 59). A good example of asculpture that meets both of these criteria is the Seated Scribe

, dating back to approximately2450-2325 BCE during the early Fifth Dynasty (Stokstad 61). On 19 November 1850, Frencharchaeologist Auguste Mariette (The Seated Scribe) found this figure near the tomb of Kai, agovernment official, in Saqqara (Stokstad 61). However, it is currently located at the LouvreMuseum in Paris (The Seated Scribe).The Seated Scribe

presents a man, dressed in a white kilt up to his knees, sitting downwith his legs crossed (The Seated Scribe). He is holding a papyrus scroll, partially unrolled ontohis lap, in his left hand (Stokstad 62). In addition, his right hand is holding a now-lost reed pen(Stokstad 62). Volume-wise, the dimensions of this figure are: a height of about 53 cm, a widthof 44 cm, and a depth of approximately 35 cm (The Seated Scribe). Furthermore, the sculptor uses the expressionism abstract style, which refers to the “exaggeration of form to appeal to the beholder’s subjective response” (Stokstad xxviii), by creating a flabby body for the scribe, who presumably lacks intense physical activity from writing and copying text all day. Moreover, this painted limestone figure has a round head and face, an alert expression, and a cap of close-
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