Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Head of Tutankhamun

Period:
New Kingdom, Amarna Period
Dynasty:
Dynasty 18
Reign:
reign of Tutankhamun
Date:
ca. 1336–1327 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Indurated Limestone
Dimensions:
H. 17.2 cm (6 3/4 in.); W. 16 cm (6 5/16 in.); D. 23.6 cm (9 5/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1950
Accession Number:
50.6
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 121
This head is a fragment from a statue group that represented the god Amun seated on a throne with the young king Tutankhamun standing or kneeling in front of him. The king's figure was considerably smaller than that of the god, indicating his subordinate status in the presence of the deity. All that remains of Amun is his right hand, which touches the back of the king's crown in a gesture that signifies Tutankhamun's investiture as king. During coronation rituals, various types of crowns were put on the king's head. The type represented here—probably a leather helmet with metal disks sewn onto it—was generally painted blue, and is commonly called the "blue crown." The ancient name was khepresh.

Statue groups showing a king together with gods had been created since the Old Kingdom, and formal groups relating to the pharaoh's coronation were dedicated at Karnak by Hatshepsut and other rulers of Dynasty 18. The Metropolitan's head of Tutankhamun with the hand of Amun is special because of the intimacy with which the subject is treated. The face of the king expresses a touching youthful earnestness, and the hand of the god is raised toward his crown with gentle care.
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