Fragment of a Royal Head, Probably Apries

Late Period, Saite

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 127

Although in fragmentary condition, this piece is a royal image of the highest artistic quality. The sculptor, a master of working hard stones, differentiated with superb sensitivity the various surfaces of the bulging metal helmet, the leather of the strips or cap that the king wore under the helmet, and the fleshy facial features. Surviving images of Dynasty 26 kings are rare, generally small, and often fragmentary.

This over-lifesize fragment probably came from a seated statue of the energetic pharaoh, Apries. Kings of Dynasty 26 were constantly involved in conflicts with surrounding kingdoms, particularly those northeast of Egypt. Despite some successes, a foreign defeat combined with growing internal tensions led to Apries' overthrow by the usurper, Amasis, after nineteen years on the throne; what remains of this image of Apries may be the result of willful destruction.

Fragment of a Royal Head, Probably Apries, Black diorite

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.