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Head of a Kushite Ruler

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

Kushite royal statues, particularly examples from Upper Egypt, emphasize the foreign, non-Egyptian origin of their subjects. This head, perhaps of King Shabaqa, shows the ruler with a broad, nearly round face characteristic of the Kushite people. His regalia also reflects Kushite influence, and his shortly cropped hair—bound by a broad headband—is a feature never seen on native Egyptian sculpture. A knob, now gone, at the front of the headband once accommodated two uraeus cobras. On statues of kings, the double cobra is uniquely Kushite as well.

CULTURES Egyptian; Nubian
MEDIUM Green schist
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 716-702 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XXV Dynasty
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 2 3/4 x 2 1/16 x 2 9/16 in. (7 x 5.3 x 6.5 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 60.74
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Egyptian. Head of a Kushite Ruler, ca. 716-702 B.C.E. Green schist, 2 3/4 x 2 1/16 x 2 9/16 in. (7 x 5.3 x 6.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 60.74. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.60.74_wwg8.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "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 Head of a king in unidentified green stone, originally furnished with back pillar. Full, almost square face with eyes and brows originally inlaid, bull neck. Skin areas polished scalp area dull and covered with close fitting ‘cap’ with small, rounded flaps near ears; uraeus with wide curve. Condition: Inlays lost, right eyelid chipped. Ears slightly chipped. Headdress apparently has been hammered though possibly it was covered with metal fitting in antiquity.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (91%)
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