Colossal Statue of Amenhotep III, reworked, reinscribed by Merneptah

New Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 131

This colossus of Amenhotep III, whose distinctive facial features are still recognizable despite their damaged state, once adorned the temple he built to Amen-Re in Luxor (ancient Thebes). Like so many Dynasty 18 monuments, this statue, along with its partner (22.5.2), was usurped a century and a half later by Merneptah, who had it moved from its original location to the eastern portal of the temple. Merneptah's deeply incised titulary contrasts with the restrained carving of the sema tawy ("Unification of the Two Lands") motif on both sides of the throne of this, the larger of the colossi. While the broad, flat planes and bold proportions are typical of Egyptian architectural statuary, these two pieces are distinguished by the quality of their sculptural details, such as the rendering of the faces and the elements of the costumes.

Colossal Statue of  Amenhotep III, reworked, reinscribed by Merneptah, Porphyritic diorite

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