From the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III, Thebes, Egypt
18th Dynasty, about 1350 BC
Amenhotep III commissioned hundreds of sculptures for his mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes, though the precise original location of most of them is not known. They included not only figures of the king but also a large range of animal sculptures in a variety of stones. A development of Amenhotep III's reign was the extensive use of colossal sculpture.
This colossal limestone head and upper torso shows the king bare chested but wearing a wide decorative collar. On his head is the striped, royal nemes headdress, surmounted by a coiled cobra (uraeus). Originally the sculpture had a beard but this has been badly damaged. Parts of several large statues from Amenhotep III's mortuary temple are now in The British Museum.
A.P. Kozloff and B.M. Bryan, Egypts dazzling sun: Amenhotep (Cleveland Museum of Art, 1992)
T.G.H. James and W.V. Davies, Egyptian sculpture (London, The British Museum Press, 1983)
© Trustees of the British Museum.