Face of Amunhotep II
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
The faces on most statues of Amunhotep II differ slightly from those of his two immediate predecessors. Compared with the sculpture of Thutmose III or Hatshepsut exhibited nearby, for example, this statue’s face is a little longer, the eyes somewhat narrower, the brows a bit straighter, the nose slightly thicker, and the mouth less curved. Each change is minute, but together they create a distinctive, recognizable image of Amunhotep II. This face is not a portrait, but an official image conceived by the chief royal sculptors to communicate the ideal physical appearance of Amunhotep II. The Egyptians believed that reality was momentary and thus, within the context of eternity, meaningless. Only an ideal representation would endure forever.
ca. 1426-1400 B.C.E.
12 5/16 x 8 3/8 in. (31.3 x 21.2 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Face of Amunhotep II, ca. 1426-1400 B.C.E. Granite, 12 5/16 x 8 3/8 in. (31.3 x 21.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 56.7. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.56.7_view1_erg456.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 5/21/2009
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Red granite head of a king, probably Amenhotep II, from an over life-sized statue. Nemes headdress with uraeus. Conventionalized face with eyebrows in high relief; ceremonial beard without strap. Top of headdress and uraus left roughly finished. Only front half of head is preserved.
Condition: Face intact. Rear half of head lost. Chin chipped, only beginning of beard preserved.
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