Purifying and Mourning the Dead, Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuky

Dublin Core


Purifying and Mourning the Dead, Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuky


Ancient Egypt, New Kingdom


The wall painting, Purifying and Mourning the Dead, Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuky, illustrates two separate funerals for two sculptors. The first funeral, to the right, is of the sculptor Ipuky. The second, to the left, is of another sculptor named Nebamun. Priests stand on the left, throwing their hands in the air and performing the purification rituals for the dead men. The woman named Henutnefret, depicted twice, was a widow first of Ipuky and then of Nebamun. She bows at their feet, mourning their deaths at different stages in her life. The earlier funeral procession — illustrated by Henutnefret's smaller size and lighter skin tone — shows her mourning her first husband, Ipuky. She is older on the left, throwing dirt over her head in grieving for Nebamun, her second husband. The god, Horus, oversees the funeral procession to the far right.

Wall paintings in tombs underscored important aspects of someone’s life, often including funerary rituals to emphasize the next stages proceeding life. Portraying Henutnefret twice suggests her agency in commissioning the painting and also highlights the impactfulness of her husband’s funerals. Tomb paintings not only signified major aspects of Egyptian life, but also provided insight to Egyptian society’s values and beliefs regarding the afterlife. Life during the New Kingdom era was “articulated through spatial, iconographical and textual symbolism” in wall paintings, alluding to Egyptian society’s appreciativeness of life (Redford, 2001).

This facsimile painting is easily interchangeable with figure 3.33 in Janson's History of Art, Musicians and Dancers, another wall painting found from the Tomb of Nebamun in Thebes. Either wall painting in tombs tell a story of Nebamun, while simultaneously demonstrating the type of art created for the tombs in New Kingdom.


Charles K. Wilkinson ca. 1930 (facsimile)




The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Original ca. 1390–1349 B.C. 18th Dynasty


Gwen Tosaris, '21


Public Domain




From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Facsimile: Tempera on paper

Physical Dimensions

Facsimile: H. 38.7 × W. 83.5 cm (15 1/4 × 32 7/8 in.), scale 1:1, Framed: H. 40.3 × W. 85 cm (15 7/8 × 33 7/16 in.)




Charles K. Wilkinson ca. 1930 (facsimile), “Purifying and Mourning the Dead, Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuky,” accessed July 18, 2019, http://metsurvey.kenyoncip.org/items/show/56.