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King as Winged Sphinx

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

The motif of the king as a superhuman sphinx (human-headed lion) began in the Old Kingdom (circa 2670–2195 B.C.). Sphinxes served as guardians. Often they are shown triumphing over Egypt's enemies, emphasizing the ruler's glory and the divine character of royal authority. The long wings folded over the body probably symbolized swiftness in battle.

MEDIUM Wood, pigment
  • Reportedly From: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
    DIMENSIONS 3 1/2 x 3 11/16 in. (8.9 x 9.4 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, reportedly from Thebes, Egypt; before 1949, acquired by Michel Abemayor of New York, NY; 1956, purchased from Michel Abemayor by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION King as Winged Sphinx, ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E. Wood, pigment, 3 1/2 x 3 11/16 in. (8.9 x 9.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 56.100. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 56.100_transp6218.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 56.100_transp6218.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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