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Head of a King, possibly Tutankhamun

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

For many years, curators at the Brooklyn Museum of Art identified this fragmentary head as a depiction of a king, either Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, or Tutankhaten. Recently, however, another scholar has used stylistic arguments to suggest that the subject is not male at all. Instead, the piece is thought to represent Queen Ankhesenpaaten, second daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, and wife of Tutankhaten.

MEDIUM Limestone, painted
  • Possible Place Collected: Tell el Amarna, Egypt
  • DATES 1333-1323 B.C.E.
    PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
    DIMENSIONS 1 3/4 x 2 1/16 x 2 7/16 in. (4.5 x 5.2 x 6.2 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 86.226.20
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Head of a King, possibly Tutankhamun, 1333-1323 B.C.E. Limestone, painted, 1 3/4 x 2 1/16 x 2 7/16 in. (4.5 x 5.2 x 6.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.226.20. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 7 installation, CUR.86.226.20_wwg7.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
    "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 Fragment of lower part of royal head in white, now somewhat discolored limestone. Preserved are the right cheek, part of the right ear, the right eye, root of the nose, mouth and chin, a small part of the left eye and ear, the left cheek, part of the neck, and the lower right rear edge of the crown. Some traces of red and, in the corners of the eyes, black paint are still adhering. Condition: Fragmentary; slight pitting on left cheek; discoloration on right cheek.
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    Head of a King, possibly Tutankhamun