Statue of Amenemhat III

c. 1859–1814 BCE

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

Even though this statue of a king is uninscribed, its distinctive features identify it without any doubt as a portrait of Amenemhat III. The heavy brows, prominent cheekbones, hollow cheeks, jutting lower jaw, and tightly bunched muscles at the corners of the mouth make a strikingly realistic impression. Not realistic, however, are the king’s supersized ears. Instead, they symbolize the ruler’s willingness to hear the prayers of his people. If this image had been carved in relief, the king’s hands would have been uplifted in worship. Here, however, to prevent the breakage of projecting limbs, the ruler’s hands are pressed flat against the front his kilt, a portion of which is looped over his belt.

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  • Title: Statue of Amenemhat III
  • Date Created: c. 1859–1814 BCE
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 51.2 x 19.8 x 18.4 cm (20 3/16 x 7 13/16 x 7 1/4 in.)
  • Provenance: Mrs. Paul Mallon, Paris, France, Sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Oh
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1960.56
  • Medium: granodiorite
  • Fun Fact: The first pyramid Amenemhat III attempted to build, the so-called Black Pyramid, had major construction flaws and had to be abandoned when it started to collapse.
  • Department: Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Art
  • Culture: Egypt, Middle Kingdom (2040–1648 BCE), Dynasty 12, reign of Amenemhat III (1860–1814 BCE)
  • Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
  • Collection: Egypt - Middle Kingdom
  • Accession Number: 1960.56

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