The Seated Scribe, a statue now displayed in the Louvre Museum, is among the most highly regarded artistic works of ancient Egypt (sidenote: Raphael's painting La Belle Jardiniere is also occasionally referred to as The Seated Scribe). The painted limestone statue, which is dated between 2563 and 2423 BC, was excavated from a Fifth Dynasty tomb in the city Sakkara. The Seated Scribe, unlike typical Egyptian art, is lifelike and realistic. Its alert eyes with quartz cornea, rock crystal iris, and ebony pupils are what elevate it to the level of masterpiece, according to Louvre art experts.

It is not unusual that the unknown sculptor of the masterpiece chose a scribe as his model. Scribing of hieroglyphics was perhaps the most prestigious profession in ancient Egypt. One Middle Kingdom text, The Satire of Trades (critical to all other occupations), advises the following:

Be a scribe. Your limbs will be sleek, your hands will grow soft. You will go forth in white clothes honored with courtiers saluting you.

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