Painted limestone; H. 18 1/4 in. (46 cm), W. 31 1/2 in. (80 cm)
Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1914 (14.3.6)
Senwosret I was the second pharaoh of Dynasty 12 and served as coregent with his father, Amenemhat I. He strengthened the central administration of the country, engaged in numerous foreign campaigns, and secured Egyptian control over Lower Nubia and its valuable resources of gold and hard stones. At home he began an extensive program of temple building throughout the Nile valley.
In this finely modeled portrait from his pyramid complex at Lisht, Senwosret I wears a pleated nemes headcloth, the long front portions of which extend down his chest and over a broad collar. The uraeus on his brow has been hacked out. In style it combines the vigor and liveliness of the Dynasty 11 Theban tradition with the elegance and refinement of the emerging Memphite school. Behind the king is a notched palm rib, the hieroglyph for "year," and the relief is part of a scene of the sed festival or jubilee wishing the king a reign of millions of years.