Statue of Amenemhat III

Ancient Egypt, 19th century BC

This statue of Amenemhat III is the only fully preserved royal stone sculpture in the Hermitage, a superb example of Ancient Egyptian portrait art. Amenemhat III, Pharaoh of the XIIth Dynasty (19th century BC), is shown in traditional pose, seated on a cube-shaped throne and wearing the royal nemes headgear crowned with a sacred cobra. The pharaoh's official dress is extremely simple and consists of a shendit-apron and a belt, but the artist paid attention to conveying the broad, high-cheeked face, carefully working up the muscles and placing the eyes in such a way as to make the expression come alive. Amenemhat's naked torso is treated in generalized fashion, in the traditional idealizing style. The Egyptians sought to emphasize the beauty and strength of the ruler, whose outer appearance should embody the unshaking might of the Egyptian state. Cut into the front part of the throne is an inscription bearing the ruler's titles. The Theban origin of the XIIth Dynasty (20th-18th centuries BC) brought to prominence the main god of Thebes, Amun, whose name was included in the pharaoh's names (Amenemhat means "Amun is ahead"). Amenemhat III was one of the most active rulers of the Middle Kingdom and during his reign a number of unique temples were erected. The grandiose memorial temple complex in the region of the Fayum Oasis (the modern city of Hawara) was the embodiment of his might, power and wealth, and was called the Labyrinth by the Greeks, leading Herodotus to write that "The Labyrinth excelled even the pyramids".


Statue of Amenemhat III




86,5 m

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