Ancient Egypt: The New Kingdom and the Amarna Period

Ancient Egypt: The New Kingdom and the Amarna Period

Ancient Egypt: The New Kingdom and the Amarna Period

Ancient Egypt: The New Kingdom and the Amarna Period

Excerpt

Louvre, Paris Total height 13 ins

This head bears no inscription nor do we have any exact details about its discovery. However, there can be no doubt that it is an official portrait of king Amenophis III. The style is unquestionably conventional, the treatment of the eyes and eyebrows repeats the well-known traditions of the royal workshops even though no line of make-up is used to prolong the line of the lids. The essential features of the pharaoh are very distinct. The face is short, the mouth very small with a slight smile. He has a small square chin and markedly almond-shaped eyes, obliquely set. The cheek bones are high and the jaw rather heavy, both typical of the father of Akhnaton. He wears a cap of blue skin-- the kheperesh--decorated with the uraeus . The serpent's body curls round to form a buckle terminating in the raised tail. In the following reign this was to become the favourite head-dress of Akhnaton. High and elegant, it appears on almost every representation of the monarch.

This head, which is slightly cold in appearance, is carved from a speckled black granite and was formerly covered with ochre paint of which slight traces remain on the bridge of the nose.

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