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Servant Figure of a Brewer

Servant figures were placed in the tombs of aristocrats, wealthy landowners, and court officials in an effort to ensure continued service in the afterlife. This statuette of a youthful servant was created to make beer. His now-missing arms would have reached forward as he turns and bends, probably in order to strain grain mash with his hands. The Egyptians utilized traditional formats in the creation of their art. While servant figures remain rather generic, their function allows them to present greater movement than was usual, and, this example, in particular, highlights the sculptor’s awareness of natural forms as well as his ability to capture hints of individual personality.

Egyptian
Servant Figure of a Brewer
Old Kingdom, 5th Dynasty, ca. 2565–2420 BC
Limestone and paint
H. 7 7/8 in. (20.0 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 77.77