Friday, December 9, 2016

Colossal Statue of Tutankhamen

     Tutankhamen is one of Egypt's most famous Pharaoh's, but not for anything he did in his life. He was a completely minor King whose existence was not recognized by later rulers of Egypt. Very few objects from his reign, other than the objects found in his tomb, still survive. This statue, which is now in the Oriental Institute in Chicago, is possibly the largest surviving statue of the king. If it really is Tutankhamen.

     The statue bears the name of Horemhab carved over the erased name of Aye. But artistically, this statue looks like it dates to Tutankhamen's reign. Possibly it was only partially finished when the young ruler died and it was usurped first by Aye, and then by Horemhab.

     In any event, this statue is huge, standing about 17 feet high and weighing about six tons. Tutankhamen is shown wearing a Nemes headdress surmounted by the double crown and wearing the false beard of the Pharaoh.

     There is an indication that this work of art originally had the King's wife standing next to him, but only the feet of the Queen remain. This statue was found with a second, very similar, statue that is now in the Cairo Museum.

     If you look carefully at the photos, you will notice that the statue is heavily restored. The Oriental Institute has, correctly I think, left the restored portions of the work a different color so that visitors can tell the difference.

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