Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Male couple sculpture in Ancient Egypt (1)

For the coming St Valentine day, I suggest today the story of possibly the first male couple sculpture  in the history!

'Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum were two ancient royal servants who shared the title of “Overseer of the Manicurists in the Palace of King Niuserre.” 

On their tomb, these two men are sculpted in a very intimate pose, reportedly the one allowed by Egyptian artistic conventions: face to face, with their noses touching. 

Niankhkhnum means “joined to life” and Khnumhotep means “joined to the blessed state of the dead;” together their names mean “joined in life and death.” 

Some archeologists describe them as the first same-sex couple in recorded history. The picture below shows a detail from their tomb dating to around 2350 BC.  '

Below is the stone engraving or 'bas-relief' of this couple.

Sources :
Wikipedia, and a very interesting article from the New York times, here :  nytimes

Painting inspired by this couple - Artist unknown