Head of a King

Middle Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 111

This head was originally understood as most likely an image of King Amenemhat I (ca. 1981–1952 B.C.), but is now dated to the first half of Dynasty 13 (ca. 1800–1750 B.C.). Like works of the early Middle Kingdom, the face is youthful and unlined, but lacks other characteristics of early Dynasty 12 royal sculpture. The sensual mouth brings to mind depictions of the later Dynasty 12 king Amenemhat III (ca. 1859–1813 B.C.), but the placid expression and style of the ears prevent an identification with this king or one of his immediate successors. Instead, it belongs to a sculptural school of early Dynasty 13, which presented kings as strong young heroes.

For more on this object, see Curatorial Interpretation below.

Head of a King, Quartzite

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