This statue depicts Sakhmet, the goddess who represented the force of violence and unexpected disaster. Her potential for danger is symbolized by the lion's head with which she is depicted and by the sun disk she wears. Egyptian physicians saw the treatment of illness in part as appeasement of Sakhmet, and for that reason they were usually priests of the goddess. In withholding her power, Sakhmet bestowed life, symbolized by the ankh sign she holds in her left hand.
Taken to England in the early 1800s by Belzoni and D'Athanasi who were working for Henry Salt; exhibited in the recesses of Waterloo Bridge, 1833; Collection of John Lee of Hartwell House; Collection of Lord Amherst; purchased by the Museum from Lord Amherst, 1915.
Scott, Nora E. 1945. Egyptian Statues. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, fig. 15.
Capart, Jean 1949. Pour faire aimer l'art égyptien. Brussels, 43-44, fig. 28.
Pijoán, José 1950. Summa Artis: Historia general del arte, Vol. III. 1950. Madrid, 296, pl. 14.
Hayes, William C. 1959. Scepter of Egypt II: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part II: The Hyksos Period and the New Kingdom (1675-1080 B.C.). Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 238, fig. 143.