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Head of Amenhotep III

In this portrait head, King Amenhotep III is portrayed with the features of a young boy; he has a round full face, almond-shaped eyes, curved eyebrows, a small nose and a fleshy mouth.

These features determine that the head belonged to the so-called “second group” of portraits of Amenhotep III, from the last years of his reign. For this reason some Egyptologists have suggested that the image anticipates the characteristics of the revolutionary “Amarna art,” which came into vogue with the accession of his son Akhenaten.

The king wears the Blue Khepresh Crown decorated with small circles that was worn by kings during battle and also during religious ceremonies in the temples. The crown is decorated with a large uraeus (rearing cobra), which occupies almost the entire front of the crown and the snake’s coils continue on the back.

Amenhotep was the son of Thutmose IV and his minor wife Mutemwiya. He was born probably around 1401 BC. Later in his life, Amenhotep commissioned the depiction of his divine birth to be displayed at Luxor Temple. Amenhotep claimed that his true father was the god Amun, who had taken the form of Thutmose IV to father a child with Mutemwiya.


New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, ca. 1391-1353 BC. From Karnak. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 38248

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