Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Torso of a king

Ptolemaic Period
332–30 B.C. probably
From Egypt
80.4 x 38.6 x 26.7 cm (31 5/8 x 15 3/16 x 10 1/2 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift and Rogers Fund, 1981
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 137
Slightly under-lifesize statues in dark stone like this and the adjacent sculpture were probably created by the Ptolemaic kings to serve the needs of native Egyptian royal cults, possibly connected with royal renewal given the regenerative significance of the color. Anatomically an advanced left leg is accompanied by flattening and lowering of the left rear hip muscle. Egyptian sculptors normally accurately observe this detail. Here, oddly, the right rear hip is shifted.
Purchased from Peter Sharrer Ancient Art, New York, 1981. Published MMA Notable Acquisitions 1981-82 and subsequently, continuously exhibited.

Hill, Marsha 2000. "Roman Egypt." In The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West, edited by Elizabeth J. Milleker. New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 87, figs. 66–7, p. 207.

Stanwick, Paul 2002. Portraits of the Ptolemies: Greek Kings as Egyptian Pharaohs. Austin, cat. E5, p. 46, 60, 61, 123.

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