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Head of a Kushite Ruler

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

Kushite royal statues, particularly examples from Upper Egypt, emphasize the foreign, non-Egyptian origin of their subjects. This head, perhaps of King Shabaqa, shows the ruler with a broad, nearly round face characteristic of the Kushite people. His regalia also reflects Kushite influence, and his shortly cropped hair—bound by a broad headband—is a feature never seen on native Egyptian sculpture. A knob, now gone, at the front of the headband once accommodated two uraeus cobras. On statues of kings, the double cobra is uniquely Kushite as well.

CULTURES Egyptian; Nubian
MEDIUM Green schist
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 716–702 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 25
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 2 3/4 x 2 1/16 x 2 9/16 in. (7 x 5.3 x 6.5 cm) mount: 2 3/4 × 2 × 7 in. (7 × 5.1 × 17.8 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not documented; before 1945, reportedly in the collection of Feuardent Freres, Paris, France; by 1960, acquired from Feuardent Freres by Nicolas Koutoulakis of Paris, France; May 11, 1960, purchased from Nicolas Koutoulakis by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Head of a king in unidentified green stone, originally furnished with back pillar. Full, almost square face with eyes and brows originally inlaid, bull neck. Skin areas polished scalp area dull and covered with close fitting ‘cap’ with small, rounded flaps near ears; uraeus with wide curve. Condition: Inlays lost, right eyelid chipped. Ears slightly chipped. Headdress apparently has been hammered though possibly it was covered with metal fitting in antiquity.
    CAPTION Egyptian. Head of a Kushite Ruler, ca. 716–702 B.C.E. Green schist, 2 3/4 x 2 1/16 x 2 9/16 in. (7 x 5.3 x 6.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 60.74. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 60.74_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 60.74_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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