Art Essay: Analysis of Colossal Seated Statue of Amenhotep III

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Boston College
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Many groups of images that joined the rulers with principal divinities increased their number of godly associations and the divine status in general. Iconographic elements added to those royal images proved the divinity of the king. The object in discussion represents the iconography of King Amenhotep III. The reigning of Amenhotep III led to the creation of statues for magnification of the royal iconography in the era between 1390 and 1352bc (Breasted, 156). The period is known due to the images of the divinities and also massive sculptures rather than the inventions of the types of statues.

The overall icon style, throne outline, and physical structures are suggestive of being of King Amenhotep III, though no inscriptions remain. Many roughly carved parts and areas indicate that there were modifications of the stature after it had originally been created. The proportions of the figure height, throne height, throne depth, knee height, and shoulder and breast width suggest that the statue is of Amenhotep III. The iconography employed in this figure by the artisans picture Amenhotep III as the god of Nubia. The deified appearance of Amenhotep III represented a figure of a king who had names and a top lunar crescent. The iconography depicted in the image was of the anthropomorphic form. Although the mouth is damaged, it clearly suggests a lip-line all over the circumference, as it was for the majestic representation of Amenhotep III. The outline of the nose is preserved showing no proof of narrowing. The Amenhotep III statues rough surface around the areas of eyelids reveals the marks of modification. The statue characterizes the eyeballs of Amenhotep III which bulged from the top point of the lid line. The eyes of the statue have been trimmed to remove any angle of the eyeball. The eye sockets of the statue remain within the original position before reworking (Josephson, 68).

The colossal seated statue of Amenhotep was found in a temple enclosure at Karnak. The region was located in the Upper Egypt. The statue was found in 1370 believed to be created by King Amenhotep III (Breasted, 200). The statue was created using red granite which is a similar black hard stone to granite. The classic posture and dress are used to make the representation of the king. He is placed on sovereignty with his hands flatly laid on the thighs. The upper body of the statue is bare. On the head, the king wears a royal head cloth that is stripped and flapping downwards at the back of the ears. The horizontal grooves are used to represent the pleats. A cobra symbol is used at the brow center to symbolize the godly protection. The object is made of red granite which suggests the more expenses were used to create it. The seated posture of the object suggests its function to address prayers and also offerings (Josephson, 71)

The statues height from foot to the top of the hairline is about 2.1 meters (Josephson, 67). The throne is at the height of 0.82metres from foot to the top of the seat. The shoulder and breast widths are 0.85m and 0.48m respectively, while the waist has a width of 0.35m (Josephson, 67).The vast size of the statue suggests the great rule of the king and his extended period of reign. It symbolizes the power that Egypt had in the field of art and the overall international power. The statue also portrays Amenhotep III as a king who was much interested in art throughout his reign. The height of the statue indicates the high influence that Egypt had at the time of Amenhotep IIIs death. Another artistic symbolization from the statue is an observation of traditional religious certainties.

The statue was originally found in an enclosure of a temple of Mut located at Karnak, Upper Egypt during the eighteenth dynasty. It is suggested to have been established by Amenhotep III who had made kingly orders to build several statues in Luxor. Originally, it was engraved on the rear pillar and on the buckle of the belt, which now displays a roughed surface (Josephson, 71). The original statue did not have kings symbols although they were added on the modified statues that were designed by the later artists. The rough bar lines on top of throne signify the reworking of following architectures of the statue.

From the object, some of the facial features can be distinguish seen to have been damaged. The object appears to have been chipped. There are some missing fragments and cracks on some of the features that are unrecognizable above the waist. The object was reconstructed using the sandstones. The cracks are said to have been caused by an earthquake. Evidence of reconstruction is seen at the parts above waist level (Josephson, 63). The restored condition of the object is magnificent considering the kind of art in the past. The present art has evolved and will not, therefore, bias the work that was performed over the object. Restoring the facial features was done better considering that the restored object still provides the clear look of the original one. The importance of the object is the provision of an architectural and artistic representation of forms that are aimed at preserving the reflections of the world. The interesting part of it is that Egyptian art seems resistant to individual judgment, but the artists in Egypt find different ways of conceptualizing challenges associated with them.


Work Cited

Josephson, Jack A. Offerings to the discerning eye: an Egyptological medley in honor of Jack A.

Josephson. Ed. Sue D'Auria. Vol. 38. Brill, 2010.

Breasted, James Henry. A history of Egypt. Cambridge University Press, 2016.


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