Head of the pharaoh Mentuhotep II
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Head of the pharaoh Mentuhotep II

From Thebes
11th dyn., reign of Mentuhotep II, 2010-1998 BC
Yellow sandstone
Height 60 cm.
cat. 22680

The head of a statue in sandstone, which for its age and formal quality is an extraordinary example of an Egyptian monumental royal portrait. It is of the Pharaoh Nebtauira' Montuhotep, the second ruler of the 9th dynasty (2010-1998 BC), considered illegitimate by some lists of pharaohs. He undertook remarkable building activities and had in his service as visir the founder of the 12th dynasty, Amenemhat. The face is painted dark red to give the idea of the colour of his skin, according to a typical custom of Egyptian figurative art. The name of the sovereign is inscribed on the back right-hand supporting pillar.