Statue of Hel

The woman is seated on a cushioned stool. Her head is graced by a lotus flower which retains traces of color, as do the lips. In her left hand she holds a lotus flower, in her right a counterweight for a menat necklace, a ritual instrument used in the cult of Hathor, goddess of sensuality and dance. The tresses of the wig resting lightly on the arm reflect a delight in detail often observed in the art of the time. The inscription evokes for the deceased “everything that comes forth in the presence of the gods of Memphis for the Osiris, the lady Hel…”, and qualifies as "one who makes music for (her) lady",
The size of the statue and its finesse – in spite of an evident asymmetry – indicate that Hel was a high-ranking person. The seated type and the fact that the back was left rough clearly denotes that the sculpture originally stood in a tomb chapel. The tomb must have stood in Saqqara, the necropolis of Memphis, where the Egyptian elites of the time had splendid burial monuments built for themselves, graced with statues of very similar style.

Cat. 7352
Stone / limestone
112 x 52 x 35 cm
1279–1213 BCE
New Kingdom
Nineteenth Dynasty
Ramesses II
Saqqara (?)
Drovetti collection (1824)
Sala 05 Vetrina 12
  • Donadoni Roveri, Anna Maria (a cura di), Civiltà degli Egizi : le arti della celebrazione, Torino 1988, p. 166, fig. 243 p. 157
    Tipo=Monografia SottoTipo=Monografia o Opere Autore=Donadoni Roveri, Anna Maria (a cura di) Titolo=Civiltà degli Egizi : le arti della celebrazione Sottotiolo= In= Collana= Opera= Luogo=Torino Anno=1988 Menzionato=p. 166 Illustrazione=fig. 243 p. 157
  • Poole, Federico, “Flawed and Fine? The Statue of Hel in the Museo Egizio, Turin (Cat. 7352)”, Rivista del Museo Egizio 3 (2019),
    Tipo=Articolo di periodico SottoTipo= Autore=Poole, Federico Titolo=Flawed and Fine? The Statue of Hel in the Museo Egizio, Turin (Cat. 7352) Sottotiolo= In=Rivista del Museo Egizio Collana= Opera=3 Luogo= Anno=2019 Menzionato= Illustrazione=
  • Vandier, Jacques, Manuel d'archéologie égyptienne, Paris 1952-1978, vol. III.1, p. 439, no. 6
    Tipo=Opere biblioteca SottoTipo= Autore=Vandier, Jacques Titolo=Manuel d'archéologie égyptienne Sottotiolo= In= Collana= Opera= Luogo=Paris Anno=1952-1978 Menzionato=vol. III.1, p. 439, no. 6 Illustrazione=
Museo Egizio