Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Head of a king as Khepri, possibly Ptolemy VI Philometor

Ptolemaic or Roman Period
reign of Ptolemy VI Philometor
180–145 B.C.
From Egypt
Limestone, paint traces
H. 11.5 cm (4 1/2 in.); W. 11.5 cm (4 1/2 in.); D. 8.4 cm (3 5/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Fletcher Fund and The Guide Foundation Inc. Gift, 1966
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
Ptolemy VI Philometor ascended the throne as a child and his mother, Cleopatra I, acted as regent. He married his sister, Cleopatra II, and ruled jointly with her.

A scarab beetle designating the god Khepri is carved in relief on top of this royal head, which belongs stylistically to the Ptolemaic Period. The representation of the pharaoh as Khepri, a creative god, has a long history, although it has been suggested the representation here is tied more specificially to the Ptolemy VI, one of whose names refers to Ptah-Khepri.
Formerly Albert Gallatin Collection, purchased by him from Adrian Minassian, New York, May 1952. Gallatin Collection purchased by the Metropolitan Museum from Mr. Gallatin's estate, 1966.

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