Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut
- New Kingdom
- Dynasty 18
- Joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III
- ca. 1479–1458 B.C.
- From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Senenmut Quarry & Mentuhotep Causeway, MMA excavations, 1927–28
- H. 295.9 cm (116 1/2 in); w. 82.6 cm (32 1/2 in); d. 149.9 cm (59 in)
- Credit Line:
- Rogers Fund, 1930
- Accession Number:
This over life-size kneeling statue and two others in the collection (29.3.1 and 30.3.1) were made to flank the processional pathway along the axis of Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahri. They depict Hatshepsut as the ideal Egyptian king - a young man in the prime of life. Each statue has an inscription that includes her personal name, Hatshepsut (literally foremost of noblewomen) and/or a feminine pronoun or verb form, so the masculine garb and physique were not intended to trick people into thinking that she was a man.
Although traditionally the Egyptian throne passed from father to son, when the necessity arose, a female ruler was accepted. However, the trappings and symbolism associated with kingship were overwhelmingly masculine and the sculptors of this statue were following a tradition that extended back more than fifteen hundred years. In this tradition, the public image of the king, whether he was an infant, a frail old man or, in this case, a woman, was shown in the most powerful and imposing form – a young, vigorous man, or a human-headed lion-bodied sphinx (31.3.166). In this statue, Hatshesut wears the nemes-headcloth, false beard, and shendyt-kilt that are part of the standard regalia of the king.