Shrouded Royal Figure, Standing (Ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom)


I can’t call this one any better than the description of this “fully alive body”  online here at the Met.  I would only mention the modest power with which the now headless sandstone figure holds itself. I would also say something about the smooth vertical curve. “[T]his sculpture was one of a group that must have lined the approach to a temple. Here, the sculptor has created a true masterpiece with an impressive interplay between the fully alive body and its wrappings. Particularly emphasized are the broad shoulders and buttocks, powerful hands, and intricately rendered knees. The body enveloped by a linen shroud and the now largely missing slender beard characterized the king as a divine protector of a sacred space.

Period: Middle Kingdom

Dynasty: Dynasty 11

Reign: Mentuhotep III

Date: ca. 2124-1981 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Armant

Medium: Sandstone

Dimensions: 55 × 19 × 13 1/2 in. (139.7 × 48.3 × 34.3 cm)

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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