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 Colossal statue of Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten with nemes and double crown. 

Karnak, Gempaaten Temple, Reign of Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten, 1351 - 1348 B.C

Sandstone; h. 205 cm, w. 111 cm, d. 60 cm. Egyptian Museum, Cairo

Early in his reign, Amenhotep IV, who would become Akhenaten, built at least four temples to Aten at Karnak, lining a colonnade in one of them, the Gempaaten, with colossal statues of himself. These ethereal and haunting images are the earliest known sculpture of the revolutionary king. This statue is an example of "early" or "grotesque" Amarna art. Prominent are elongated faces with pendant chins, narrow eyes with upper lids projecting sharply outward, and noses and mouths extended into V-shapes. This upper torso features Akhenaten wearing the traditional nemes (head scarf), the combined crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt with uraeus, and the fake pharaonic beard. The arms are crossed in the pose of Osiris, god of rebirth, and the hands clutch the royal crook and flail, the symbolic implements of a ruling pharaoh. This head is over six feet high; the complete statue would have been almost three times as tall. Akhenaten was the father of Ankhesenpaaten.

Courtesy: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


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