Pepi I was the third king of the 6th dynasty and commissioned the building of a complex at Saqqara for his funerary cult. One of the most notable works of art associated with Pepi I is the Kneeling Statuette of Pepy I, depicting the king offering nu-pots. It is a finely detailed piece of ancient Egyptian art that showcases the skill of the sculptor. The statue’s purpose was to serve as an image of the king offering holy water to the gods during his funerary ceremonies.
In addition to the Kneeling Statuette, Pepi I also left behind a large copper statue of himself, which is currently housed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. This statue is a testimony to Pepi I’s wealth and power as pharaoh.
During Pepi I’s reign, the power of the nomarchs grew leading to the decline of the Old Kingdom. Despite this instability, the art of ancient Egypt was still remarkably consistent in its style and motifs. Ancient Egyptian art is best understood from the viewpoint of the ancient Egyptians, who valued order, balance, and continuity. To modern viewers, it can appear formal and abstract, but when viewed within the cultural and historical context, ancient Egyptian art reveals deep spiritual and religious significance.