Period: New Kingdom
Dynasty: Dynasty 18
Reign: reign of Amenhotep III
Date: ca. 1390–1352 B.C.
Geography: Possibly from Memphite Region; From Egypt
Dimensions: h. 35 cm (13 3/4 in); face only: h. 12.8 cm (5 1/16 in); w. 12.6 cm (4 15/16 in)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1956
Accession Number: 56.138
Amenhotep III, ninth king of Dynasty 18, was heir to the expansionist policies of his predecessors and ruled over an empire at the height of its political, economic, and cultural power. It was also an empire at peace, relying on diplomatic exchanges to ensure the stability and revenues of Egypt. During his long reign, Amenhotep III transformed the religious landscape at Thebes, building a great temple to Amun-Re at Luxor and making major additions to the Temple of Karnak. On the west bank at Thebes, he built an enormous palace complex with an artificial lake at Malqata, where he celebrated three sed or jubilee festivals. His mortuary temple was one of the largest ever built, but little remains today except the famous Colossi of Memnon, actually a pair of colossal statues of Amenhotep III that stood before its pylon.
This almost lifesize head from a standing statue is said to come from the Delta. It displays the very youthful and stylized features of many of his statues, with full lips and elongated, elegantly outlined slanted eyes. He wears the blue crown, which indicates that the statue portrayed the king performing some sort of action, such as making an offering. A break on the left side of the king's head may indicate that a tall standard originally stood to his left.