Head of King Amenemhat III, Granodiorite

Head of King Amenemhat III

Middle Kingdom
Dynasty 12
reign of Amenemhat III
ca. 1859–1813 B.C.
From Egypt
H. 40.6 × W. 18.4 × D. 25.4 cm, 20.9 kg (16 × 7 1/4 × 10 in., 46 lb.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Foulds, 1924
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 111
Although somewhat battered, this is an impressive image of a pharaoh wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. The head is rounder than those depicting Senwosret III; the eyes are less bulbous, and the lids less fleshy. We see, in fact, a portrait of Senwosret's successor Amenemhat III. A piece closely related in style was found at Kom el-Hisn in the western Nile Delta. Like that sculpture the Museum's head has a distinctly youthful character, which is apparent in spite of the deep furrows at the sides of the king's nose. Egyptian artists often emphasized youthfulness in the face of an already mature pharaoh in images that commemorated the king's thirty-year jubilee (Heb Sed). The king was, in this image, most probably represented seated.
Purchased from Maurice Nahman in Cairo, 1924.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 199.