Skip Navigation

Face of Amunhotep II

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
The faces on most statues of Amunhotep II differ slightly from those of his two immediate predecessors. Compared with the sculptures of Thutmose III and 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.
MEDIUM Granite
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1426-1400 B.C.E.
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 12 5/16 x 8 3/8 in. (31.3 x 21.2 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

    Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

    For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

    For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

    If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    CAPTION 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
    IMAGE overall, CUR.56.7_view1_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 5/21/2009
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION 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.
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.