The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 28, 2017

Statue of Amenemhat III, c. 1859-1814 BC

granodiorite, Overall: 51.2 x 19.8 x 18.4 cm (20 1/8 x 7 3/4 x 7 3/16 in). Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1960.56

Even though this statue of a king is uninscribed, its distinctive features identify it without any doubt as a portrait of Amenemhat III. The heavy brows, prominent cheekbones, hollow cheeks, jutting lower jaw, and tightly bunched muscles at the corners of the mouth make a strikingly realistic impression. Not realistic, however, are the king's supersized ears. Instead, they symbolize the ruler's willingness to hear the prayers of his people.
If this image had been carved in relief, the king's hands would have been uplifted in worship. Here, however, to prevent the breakage of projecting limbs, the ruler's hands are pressed flat against the front of his kilt, a portion of which is looped over his belt.

Detroit Institute of Arts, 9 July-1 September 1963, Life and Art in Ancient Egypt, cat. by William Peck and Francis W. Robinson, no. 10, illus. p. 8; CMA 1996 (not in catalogue) Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille, France (10/9/2014 - 11/26/2014): "Senusret III" The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY (10/12/2015 - 1/24/2016): "Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom" The Cleveland Museum of Art (3/13/16-6/12/16) " Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt" Cat. pg.76 fig.39

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

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