The man's posture, with his arms crossed and his knees drawn up, perfectly evokes a spirit of contemplation. The body is shaped as a square on top of which is a head with a minimum of detail. The face has been cursorily modelled but its effect is nevertheless poignant. The shapes are angular. The eyes were originally added in paint so that they now appear to be closed. The lips are narrow, but distinct. The eyebrows, the nose, and the ears have only been roughly outlined. The statue gives the impression of an image of a man who is profoundly immersed in thought and concentrated introspection. This granite sculpture again demonstrates the Egyptian sculptor's intimate knowledge of his material. By carefully shaping the stone, he has created a cubic, static monument imbued with a strong spirit. The four sides of the figure have been almost entirely covered with inscriptions and images of gods. On the front is a figure of Amun-Re, on right side is Harakhty, and on the left, Ptah. Among other things, the inscriptions reveal the identity of the man portrayed: "The royal son of Ramesses, the head of the entire army, Nimlot; his mother is the daughter of the principal ruler of the foreigners (= the Libyans), Pen-resh-nes".Nimlot was one of the sons of Shoshonk I, the Libyan ruler from Herakleopolis who succeeded in becoming king of Egypt. His eldest son Osorkon succeeded him, and his second son Awapet became High Priest of Amun in Thebes. The third son, Nimlot, was put in charge of the army. In this way Shoshonk I dominated the country with the help of his family. A remarkable aspect evident from Nimlot's monuments is his religious drive. For instance, he renewed the daily offering of a bull to his town god Harsaphes by annually donating sixty bulls. The block statue in Vienna would have been erected in the great temple of Heliopolis. The prayers in its inscriptions are full of original phrases which suggest a strong personal involvement in their composition.
|KUNSTHISTORISCHES MUSEUM [09/001] VIENNA
|HEWN; CARVED; ENGRAVED
An offering which the king gives to Amun-Re, the Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, foremost of Karnak, the great god and lord of the sky, so that he may give life, prosperity and health, while I am whole and without evil, so that I will see Atum and my voice will be hidden, so that my perfection is heard in Heliopolis, so that my tendons are secure and my spirit is glorious, so that he may declare my justification daily, for the Ka of the straightforward one who is without evil and who hides aberrations, (namely:) the royal son of Ramesses and Commander of the entire army, Nimlot true of voice. His mother is the daughter of a commander, Pa-ta-res(u)-nes true of voice.
Speech by Ptah-Tatenen, the father of the gods. May he make my name to be lasting for eternity in its place of residence, and my heirs continuing in my place, while offerings are brought for his Ka. May he sanctify my monuments without interruption unto eternity, for the Ka of the uniquely qualified, the one of good character, Nimlot true of voice, who performs rituals for the god and who is good for the people, who takes care of the well-being of his brother without desisting, the royal son of Ramesses and Commander of the entire army, Nimlot true of voice.
An offering which the king gives to Amun-Re, the King of the gods, and Atum, who resides in the Great House, so that they may let my Ba traverse the desert country of Tefnut, and that it (the Ba) may encircle the temple in order to venerate him, so that he (the Ba) may receive bouquets of flowers, after I have sung the praises of the one residing in this place. May the lord of offering breads (or of the Enneads?) promise me the divine statues which rest in the place of judgement. May Iusaes, who resides in the Netherworld, unite me with Atum after I have been placed in the balance in the Hall of the Two Truths. May the lords of the ished-tree confer upon me as many years as leaves, (for) the Ka of the straightforward one, who destroys evil and sets Maat in its place, the royal son of Ramesses and Commander of the entire army, Nimlot true of voice. His mother is the daughter of a principal ruler of the foreigners, Pa-ta-r[es(u)-nes true of voice].
Speech by Re-Harakhty, the great god. May he make enduring for the heirs the years of peace without end into eternity. May he confer upon me years in joy and keep away evil from them.