Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Senwosret III as a Sphinx

Period:
Middle Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 12
Reign:
reign of Senwosret III
Date:
ca. 1878–1840 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt; Possibly from Upper Egypt, Thebes, Karnak
Medium:
Gneiss
Dimensions:
L. 73 × W. 29.5 × H. 42.5 cm, 114.3 kg (28 3/4 × 11 5/8 × 16 3/4 in., 252 lb.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Edward S. Harkness, 1917
Accession Number:
17.9.2
Not on view
Sphinxes are composite creatures that combine the head of a king or queen with the body of a lion, representing human intellect joined with feline power. The most famous sphinx is the colossal statue erected by the Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Khafre at Giza, adjacent to the Great Pyramids. The lean flanks and taut muscles of the sphinx seen here convey a particular sense of tension and watchfulness, appropriate to the creature’s role as a guardian.
#804: Kids: Sphinx of King Senwosret III
: / 
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit metmuseum.org/audioguide.
Purchased in Cairo from Maurice Nahman, 1917.

Metropolitan Museum of Art 1920. "The Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 15, no. 6 (June), p. 129, fig. 2.

Capart, Jean 1927. Documents pour servir a l'étude de l'art égyptien. Paris: Les Éditions du Pégase, pl. 25.

Breasted, James H. Jr. 1936. Geschichte Ägyptens. Zürich, pl. 95.

Pijoán, José 1950. Summa Artis: Historia general del arte, Vol. III. 1950. Madrid, 193, fig. 256.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part I: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 197, fig. 119.

Arnold, Dieter, Emma Brunner Traut, Henry G. Fischer, Matthias Seidel, Wilfried Seipel, C. Vandersleyen, and Erika Feucht 1975. Das alte Ägypten, Propyläen Kunstgeschichte, 15. Berlin, p. 237, fig. 163.

Hibbard, Howard 1980. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Harper & Row, 32, fig. 48.

Dorman, Peter F., Prudence Harper, and Holly Pittman 1987. Egypt and the Ancient Near East in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pp. 42-43.

Robins, Gay 2001. Egyptian Statues, Shire Egyptology, 26. Princes Risborough, p. 24, fig. 21.

Albersmeier, Sabine 2002. Untersuchungen zu den Frauenstatuen des Ptolemäischen Ägypten. Mainz am Rhein, p. 199 n. 221.

Metropolitan Museum of Art 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, p. 44.

Metropolitan Museum of Art 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York and New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, p. 44.

Oppenheim, Adela 2015. "Statue of Senwosret III as a Sphinx." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 79, 81–83, no. 24.

Oppenheim, Adela 2015. "Introduction: What Was the Middle Kingdom?." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 5.

Oppenheim, Adela 2015. "Artists and Workshops: The Complexity of Creation." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 23.

Arnold, Dorothea 2015. "Pharaoh: Power and Performance." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 69, 71.

Gabolde, Luc 2015. "Thebes: East Bank (Karnak and Luxor)." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 316.

Dodson, Aidan M. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. 2004. London: Thames & Hudson, Pp. 90 .

Related Objects

King Sahure and a Nome God

Date: ca. 2458–2446 B.C. Medium: Gneiss Accession: 18.2.4 On view in:Gallery 103

Foreigners in a Procession

Date: ca. 1353–1336 B.C. Medium: Limestone, paint Accession: 1985.328.13 On view in:Gallery 121

Akhenaten Sacrificing a Duck

Date: ca. 1353–1336 B.C. Medium: Limestone, paint Accession: 1985.328.2 On view in:Gallery 121

Statue of two men and a boy that served as a domestic icon

Date: ca. 1353–1336 B.C. Medium: Limestone, paint Accession: 11.150.21 On view in:Gallery 121

Haremhab as a Scribe of the King

Date: ca. 1336–1323 B.C. Medium: Granodiorite Accession: 23.10.1 On view in:Gallery 121