Head and upper torso of Seti I

1303–1290 B.C.E.

Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas, United States

Thousands of years ago, the ancient Egyptians built magnificent temples for the deities they worshipped and monumental pyramids for the mummified remains of their rulers, who were believed to be both mortal and divine and endowed with great magical as well as spiritual powers.

The woven, striped headdress (royal nemes) and false beard, both divine attributes of the gods, indicate the sculpture is of a pharaoh. In fact, his identity-Seti I-is inscribed on the nemes and the elliptical cartouche at the rear of the bust. He appears to be youthful (although he was older at the time he was portrayed), handsome, and virile, and his facial expression is calm.(3) One of the greatest Egyptian pharaohs, Seti was a successful military leader and a great patron of the arts. He waged wars against the Hittites, Phoenicians, Syrians, and Libyans, which resulted in his extending the boundaries of Egypt into other parts of North Africa and the Near East. Seti I restored neglected temples and shrines, and among his buildings is a temple at Abydos to honor the deity Osiris and his own magnificent tomb in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes.

Roslyn A. Walker,The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art, (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art; New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), cat. 61, 182-183.


  • Title: Head and upper torso of Seti I
  • Date Created: 1303–1290 B.C.E.
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 15 x 11 25/32 x 7 11/32 in. (38.1 x 29.92 x 18.65 cm)
  • Type: Sculpture
  • External Link: https://www.dma.org/object/artwork/4020555/
  • Medium: Granite
  • period: New Kingdom
  • culture: Egyptian
  • Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, purchased in honor of Betty B. Marcus with the Art Museum League Funds, the Melba Davis Whatley Fund, and the General Acquisitions Fund

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