"Sennefer & Meryt"

artist: Jenny Carrington
medium: watercolour and ink on papyrus
size: 35 x 504cm / 14 x 198.5 inches
date completed: 2009

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The Sennefer & Meryt papyrus scroll is based on the wall paintings in the tomb of Sennefer at Thebes, Egypt. (TT96). It was begun in the year 2000, after much research to find photos of the images on the walls. I have not been to Egypt so I searched through every book on Egypt and every reference on the internet that I could find; and along with the generosity of people on the Egyptologists' Electronic Forum, I was able to piece together most of the images on the walls of Sennefer's burial chamber. The south wall however is badly damaged, and very few photos were available. So at that time I only painted one end of the south wall, which shows Sennefer and Meryt, with hands raised in adoration, before an offering to Osiris and Hathor. I thought then, in 2003, that it was finished.

However, in June 2009, I was prompted to resume work when I received an email from Jon Hirst who was rewriting the Sennefer pages for Osirisnet. I still did not have enough satisfactory images of that elusive south wall, but most useful were the photos in "Life And Death In Ancient Egypt: Scenes From Private Tombs In New Kingdom Thebes", by Sigrid Hodel-Hoenes, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY. 2000 pp.112-139, and the late 19th century drawings in "La tome des Vignes Thebes", Rec. trav.( RECUEIL DE TRAVAUX.), Philippe Virey. vol. XX, pp.212-223, 1898; vol. XXI, pp. 127-133, 137-149 1899; vol. XXII, pp. 83-97, 1900.

My next line of research was to check out other 18th dynasty tombs in the area which included representations of the funeral procession. These were the tombs of Ramose TT55, Userhet TT56, Menna TT69, Rekhmire TT100, and Roy TT255. Also useful was Benia TT343, Kyky TT409 (19th Dyn) and Renni EK7 (El Kab, 18th Dyn). From these I was able to reconstruct various elements of the procession that were missing from Sennefer's tomb.

South Wall - funeral procession and offering to Osiris and Hathor.

West Wall - offerings and Journey to Abydos.

North Wall - offering to Osiris and Anubis, embalming chamber, and purification ritual.

East Wall - offerings, incense and libation by sem priest, doorway, Sennefer & Meryt "coming forth by day".

In Nov 2010 - I received a request for larger images.

The papyrus has been rolled up for the last 6 years. It's good to finally hang it on the wall for a while.

This composite photo, courtesy of Jon Hirst, shows the current condition of the south wall.

This is a drawing of the south wall from "La tome des Vignes Thebes", RECUEIL DE TRAVAUX, Philippe Virey.

More on the papyrus, with transliteration and translation.