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Bust of the Goddess Sakhmet

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Sakhmet, whose name means “The Powerful One,” wears a sun-disk and cobra on her brow, identifying her as the daughter of the sun-god Re. In her role as the Eye of Re, Sakhmet was dispatched abroad to destroy Egypt’s enemies. Angered because Re set another goddess in her place while she was away, the Eye refused to return and protect Egypt, until pacified by wine, music, and dance.

The Egyptians explained the sun’s annual motion toward the south and then back to Egypt as the Eye’s departure and return. In other myths, Re’s Eye symbolized natural phenomena, such as the Nile’s annual flood and the Egyptian new year.
MEDIUM Granodiorite
  • Place Found: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1390-1352 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XVIII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 39 x 19 7/8 x 15 9/16 in., 443 lb. (99 x 50.5 x 39.5 cm, 200.94kg)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1991.311
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Dr. and Mrs. W. Benson Harer, Jr. in honor of Richard Fazzini and the excavations of the Temple of Mut in South Karnak, Mary Smith Dorward Fund and Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Bust of the Goddess Sakhmet, ca. 1390-1352 B.C.E. Granodiorite, 39 x 19 7/8 x 15 9/16 in., 443 lb. (99 x 50.5 x 39.5 cm, 200.94kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. W. Benson Harer, Jr. in honor of Richard Fazzini and the excavations of the Temple of Mut in South Karnak, Mary Smith Dorward Fund and Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 1991.311. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 1991.311_view2_SL4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
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    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (82%)
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