|Ancient Egypt and Archaeology Web Site|
Statue of Senusret I (Kheperkara, 1956-1911 BC) of the 12th Dynasty.
The statuette was discovered in 1914 at the royal cemetery of Lisht during the Museum's excavation of the southern mud-brick enclosure wall surrounding the mastaba of Imhotep, a 12th Dynasty official who lived in about 1900 BC. The deposit included a second, almost identical figure wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt, which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The two figures were probably used as part of a dramatic funerary ceremony and then ritually buried.
In spite of its small size, the statue has great presence. In Egyptian art, the essential purpose of any formal representation of a man (whether god, king, or lesser mortal) was to embody the essence of masculine strength and virility. The restrained power expressed in the elegantly simple pose of this striding figure admirably achieves this goal, and it is easy to understand why Egyptian artists continued to use many of the same uniquely expressive forms for nearly thirty centuries.