Royal Head, probably Thutmouse

Royal Head, Probably Thutmose III

Egypt, 1570–1293 B.C. New Kingdom

Granitic stone
Gift of Mrs. Philip B. Spalding, 1949 (908.1)

Most Egyptian art is associated with the supreme power of the pharaohs and its expression in royal images, palaces, cult buildings, ritual offerings, royal donations, and decorative arts created for personal use. Possibly a fragment of a larger temple sculpture, this small head wears the royal nemes, the pleated head cloth exclusive to Egyptians of rank; the fractured base of the uraeus cobra, the most important of all royal symbols, appears above the brow. Artisans deployed these attributes and attire to create immediately recognizable renderings according to portrait types individualized to suit the needs of each ruler. First identified as Seti I, this portrait fragment is now thought to be Thutmose III (r. 1479–1425 B.C.).