Only the head of this royal figure survives, so we have no inscriptions to identify the ruler who commissioned it. Nevertheless, its attribution to Senwosret III is certain owing to the resemblance of this portrait to explicitly dated ones, and to certain stylistic features. The striped headcloth (nemes) with its raised cobra frames a broad masculine face. The eyes are deeply set with heavy lids and there are folds indicated beneath the eyes. These are features encountered on other portraits of the same king, and there is no doubt that they correspond to the actual features of the king in life. This period is known for its realism in art, which is particularly apparent in the treatment of the planes of the face, which depict the anatomical structure of the bones, muscles and skin with great accuracy. The temples are slightly sunken, whereas the forehead appears slightly bulbous underneath the tight headcloth. On either side of the straight, severe mouth the muscles appear strong, giving the face with its massive chin an almost brutal expression. The headcloth breaks off at the bottom in an irregular manner, which proves that the head was not attached to a human body, but to that of a lion. The headcloth extends too far to the rear to have covered mere human shoulders. On the shoulders of a lion it would blend with the body harmoniously. Senwosret III was a powerful ruler who succeeded in subjugating the provincial nobility. He also led his armies far into Nubia and into Palestine. His reign saw advancements in many fields, including the arts.
|KUNSTHISTORISCHES MUSEUM [09/001] VIENNA
|SENWOSRET III/SESOSTRIS III/KHAKAURE