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Head of a Pharaoh

Culture Egyptian
Title Head of a Pharaoh
Date 950–750 BCE
Medium Wood, gesso, and gold and glass
Dimensions Object: 3 5/8 × 2 3/8 × 3 3/8 in. (9.2 × 6.1 × 8.5 cm)
Credit Line Jane and Roger Wolcott Memorial, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 69.158

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About this Work

This exceptionally fine head was removed from a statuette. The youthfulness of the figure is evident and subtly endearing, but the headdress identifies him as a pharaoh, and, therefore, regal bearing and formality dominate the presentation. In its original state, the statuette would have been enlivened with colorful inlays for the eyes, across the eyebrows, and along the headdress, and the center square would have supported a bronze uraeus, or rearing cobra, the symbol of the king. Sculptures made of wood rarely survive. The marvelous state of preservation of this piece, which retains some of the original red and green glass, is due to the extremely dry climate of Egypt and to the protection of a grave.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Head of a Pharaoh | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.