Artist's Sketch of Ramesses IV

Period: New Kingdom, Ramesside

Dynasty: Dynasty 20

Reign: reign of Ramesses IV

Date: ca. 1153–1147 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Valley of the Kings, Tomb of Ramesses IV (KV 2), in front of tomb, Davis excavations, 1905–06

Medium: Limestone, ink

Dimensions: H. 18 cm (7 1/16 in); w. 14 cm (5 1/2 in)

Credit Line: Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915

Accession Number: 30.8.234


All the kings of Dynasty 20 after Ramesses III, from Ramesses IV through Ramesses XI, bore the same name. Inheriting a relatively peaceful empire from his father, Ramesses IV focused his attention on mining and quarrying activities for a major building program he hoped to undertake. At the end of his brief reign, however, little had been accomplished except for his small but beautifully decorated tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

This small artist's sketch shows the king in the conventional style of the late New Kingdom wearing the blue crown. A pupil has made a less than successful attempt to copy the profile on the same limestone flake. The sketch was found in front of the tomb of Ramesses IV by Theodore Davis in 1905–6.