||Statue of Amenemhat III
19th century BC
H 86.5 cm
This statue of Amenemhat III (reigned 1850-1800 BC) is a
remarkable example of royal portrait sculpture of the Middle
Kingdom period - a time when this art form developed rapidly.
Now, statues of kings were placed not only in their own
mortuary temples, but also inside and outside temples
dedicated to the gods. Being on view, these statues had to
exalt the ruler in power, and it was important that his individual
characteristics be clearly reproduced, even those that revealed
his age. This statue of Amenemhat III, one of the powerful
leaders of the XII dynasty, is typical of the period. His stern
countenance is expressed through prominent cheek-bones, a
low forehead, broad mouth and fleshy lips.