Seated Statue of Hatshepsut

Period: New Kingdom

Dynasty: Dynasty 18

Reign: Joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III

Date: ca. 1479–1458 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri & el- Asasif, Senenmut Quarry, MMA excavations, 1926–28/Lepsius 1843–45

Medium: Indurated limestone, paint

Dimensions: H. 195 cm (76 3/4 in.); W. 49 cm (19 5/16 in.); D. 114 cm (44 7/8 in.)

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1929

Accession Number: 29.3.2


Hatshepsut, the most successful of several female rulers of ancient Egypt, declared herself king sometime between years 2 and 7 of the reign of her stepson and nephew, Thutmose III. She adopted the full titulary of a pharaoh, including the throne name Maatkare, which is the name most frequently found on her monuments. Her throne name and her personal name, Hatshepsut, are both written inside oval cartouches making them easy to recognize.

In this life-size statue, Hatshepsut is shown wearing the nemes-headcloth and the shendyt-kilt. These are part of the ceremonial attire of the Egyptian king, which was traditionally a man's role. In spite of the masculine dress, the statue has a distinctly feminine air, unlike most representations of Hatshepsut as ruler (see, for example, three over life-size statues that represent her seated (27.3.163), kneeling (30.3.1), and standing (28.3.18)). The kingly titles on the sides of the throne are feminized to read "the Perfect Goddess, Lady of the Two Lands" and "Bodily Daughter of Re," a practice that was dropped later in her reign.

Traces of blue pigment are visible in some of the hieroglyphs on the front of the statue and a small fragment on the back of the head (see attached photograph) shows that the pleats of the nemes-headcloth were originally painted with alternating blue and yellow pigments.