Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Head of Ptolemy II or III

Ptolemaic Period
reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes I
246–222 B.C.
From Egypt
Black bronze
H. 6.5 cm (2 9/16 in.); W. 3.5 cm (1 3/8 in.); D. 4.6 cm (1 13/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Fletcher Fund and The Guide Foundation Inc. Gift, 1966
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
Only the head of what was once a rather large bronze statuette is preserved. Examination has shown that the material is a black bronze, an ancient patination that would heighten precious metal inlays, and that the statue had an iron armature.
The king has the single-arc brow line and a generally idealized appearance that is found for kings of the fourthe century through at least Ptolemy II. However, compared to fourth century kings, the wider eyes and somewhat thicker and flatter lips represent new tendencies best understood in the context of changes happening in the period of Ptolemy II and III.
Formerly Albert A. Gallatin Collection (purchased by Gallatin from Charles Kelekian, May 1951). Gallatin Collection purchased by the Metropolitan Museum from Mr. Gallatin's estate, 1966.

Cooney, John 1953. "Egyptian Art in the Collection of Albert Gallatin." In Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 12, p. 17, fig. 91.

Stanwick, Paul 2002. Portraits of the Ptolemies: Greek Kings as Egyptian Pharaohs. Austin, cat. A26, pp. 44, 53 n63, 67, 102-3.

Hill, Marsha 2004. Royal Bronze Statuary from Ancient Egypt with Special Attention to the Kneeling Pose. Leiden: Brill, cat. 240 and LPPt-26, pl. 71; pp. 91-115 passim, 224.

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