Exhibitions: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity

Senwosret III

Senwosret III, one of the most powerful kings of the Twelfth Dynasty, ruled Egypt with absolute authority during a time of great power and prosperity. He is shown wearing the traditional royal regalia: the nemes headcloth with a cobra at the front, the pleated shendyt kilt, and the bull's tail, visible between his legs. Beneath his feet are nine bows, symbolizing Egypt's traditional enemies under his power. Unlike his predecessors, who were shown with idealized facial features, Senwosret has heavily lidded eyes, lined and haggard cheeks, and pursed lips. The reason for this change is not known, but imitations of his features by later kings and private individuals suggest that Senwosret's features were intended to convey his virtuous qualities.