Royal Head



Royal Head




1390-1279 BC


New Kingdom, Late Dynasty 18 - Early Dynasty 19


Red granite
6 x 5 x 5 1/2 in. (15.2 x 12.7 x 14 cm)

Object Number



While most depictions of pharaohs were portraits, although usually quite idealizing, there are periods where the distinction between successive rulers can be blurred. This image dates to the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty or the beginning of the Ramesside era and has been variously attributed to Horemheb or Sety I. The almond-shaped eyes and small, smiling mouth are holdovers from the Amarna style, which lasted for many years after the end of Akhenaten's religious and artistic experiments. This head shows the pharaoh wearing the royal nemes headcloth. The extended break at the back of the head suggests that this figure was part of a larger composition and perhaps once stood in front of a larger image, such as a sphinx or a figure of the god Amun. The original sculpture, carved in a darkly speckled Aswan granite would have been a singular masterpiece.

Credit Line

Egyptian Purchase Fund


Dynasties: The Egyptian Royal Image in the New Kingdom, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas, January 6 - April 9, 1995|
From Pharaohs to Emperors: New Egyptian and Classical Antiquities at Emory, Michael C. Carlos Museum, January 14 - April 2, 2006|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, 2006 - Present
Gerry D. Scott III, "Dynasties: The Egyptian Royal Image in the New Kingdom," Varia Aegyptiaca 10 (1995): 47, number 33.|
San Antonio Museum of Art, "Dynasties: The Egyptian Royal Image in the New Kingdom," Museum Pamphlet (January 6 - April 9, 1995), cover image, number 33.|
MCCM Newsletter, March - May, 2004.|
Peter Lacovara and Jasper Gaunt, "From Pharaohs to Emperors: Egyptian, Near Eastern & Classical Antiquities at Emory," Minerva 17 (January/February 2006): 9-16.|
Karen M. Bryson, "An Egyptian Royal Portrait Head in the Collection of the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University," (MA thesis, Georgia State University, 2008).|
Michael C. Carlos Museum: Highlights of the Collections (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2011), 19.|
Melinda Hartwig, A Companion to Ancient Egyptian Art (Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2015) 207, figure 11.8.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2005.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



“Royal Head,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed September 18, 2020,

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