Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Photo for Today - More from the Walters Art Museum

(Left) Head of King Amasis
(Right) Head of Ptolemy II

Copyright Rick Menges, with my thanks

(Left) Head of King Amasis
Date (Period): ca. 560 BC (Late Period)
Medium: red quartzite
Measurements: 12 3/8 x 7 7/8 x 9 1/4 in. (31.5 x 20 x 23.5 cm)
Item Description:
King Amasis was the next to last ruler of the 26th Dynasty. The head probably came from a temple statue. He wears the traditional royal nemes head cloth, with a protective uraeus serpent at the brow.

(Right) Head of Ptolemy II
Date (Period): ca. 280 BC (Greco-Roman)
Medium: gray granite
Measurements: 11 1/4 x 8 11/16 x 9 1/2 in. (28.5 x 22 x 24.2 cm);
mount: 8 7/16 x 6 5/8 x 6 5/8 in. (21.5 x 16.8 x 16.9 cm)
Item Description:
In 332 BC, Alexander the Great freed Egypt from Persian control and made it part of his growing empire. One of his generals, Ptolemy Lagus, was sent to Egypt to serve as governor after Alexander's sudden death in 323 BC. Ptolemy eventually crowned himself king and founded the Ptolemaic Dynasty. One of the early rulers of this Dynasty is represented in this elegant, life-size head. The Ptolemaic rulers were sensitive to the political needs of their diverse subjects. Therefore, royal portraiture is mainly of two types, one in strictly Egyptian style, like this head, and the other purely Greek.

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