Now we are going to talk about one of the most important collections, which belong to ancient Egypt art, which is the collection of Queen Hatshepsut.
Egyptian art: The Sphinx statue
The statue dates back to the new kingdom, 18th dynasty, and reign of Queen Hatshepsut it was found at the site of Deir el Bahari. It is made out of painted limestone.
The statue shows a human face with lion’s mane joined to the lion’s body. The feminine facial features of Queen Hatshepsut are clearly represented:
The broad eyes extended by cosmetic lines, the broad eyebrows, the full cheeks, the delicate nose and the gracious mouth.
The queen is represented with the royal false beard which is characteristic of both the kings of Upper and Lower Egypt and the art of ancient Egypt. The lion’s body and its paws, tail and hind hooves are very well represented.
The mane of the lion as well as the lock of hair at the back of the nemes headdress was painted in dark blue to imitate the color of the hair of Ra which was of lapis Lazuli.
Art of Egypt: The standing statue of Queen Hatshepsut
The statue dates back to the new kingdom, 18th dynasty, reign of Queen Hatshepsut. It is one of two identical standing statues of the queen. The other one is now in the metropolitan museum of Arts.
The statues were discovered in Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahari. They were once flanking the entrance of the temple’s upper court.
Both statues are made out of red granite (m3t) which was quarried from Aswan. Like a king, Hatshepsut is shown standing, with her left leg stepped forward.
She wears the royal nms headdress with a uraeus on the forehead, a false ceremonial beard, and a protruding (starched) linen kilt with a central tab carved with representations of sun rays as a kind of decoration.
The queen’s arms are stretched along her lower body with both palms resting flat on her kilt. Hatshepsut is depicted with a strong masculine body, yet distinctive feminine facial features represented in:
A round full face with wide eyes extended by cosmetic lines, gently curved eyebrows, delicate nose, full cheeks and gracious mouth.
To minimize the damages that might affect the statue, the artist did not leave any space between the arms and the body and also between the two legs. He also consolidated the whole statue with a back pillar.
The hieroglyphic inscriptions on the granite pedestal of the statue were unfortunately erased, most probably by Thutmose III.
Egyptian arts: The granite Sphinx of Queen Hatshepsut
The statue dates back to the new kingdom, 18th dynasty, reign of Queen Hatshepsut. It was found at the site of Deir el Bahari. It is made out of red granite quarried from Aswan. The statue is of the classical type of sphinxes.
It shows the royal head wearing the nemes headdress with a uraeus on the forehead (now destroyed) and a royal false beard, joined to the lion’s body. The feminine facial features of Queen Hatshepsut are clearly represented:
The broad eyes extended by cosmetic lines, the broad eyebrows, the checks, the delicate nose and the gracious mouth.
A large massive “wsh” collar adorns the queen’s statue. The lion’s body and its paws, tail and hind hooves are very well represented.
The royal cartouche which is carved between the paws of lion contains the coronation name of Hatshepsut. The name is partly erased most probably by Thutmose III.
Ancient Egyptian art: the Fragments of the punt expedition
By the 9th year of Hatshepsut’s reign she sent an important commercial and trading expedition to the land of the punt (nowadays Somali or somewhere on the African red sea coast).
It was mainly sent to bring back the incense tree to be planted in the court of her funerary temple as a gift to her father Amon-Ra.
The expedition returned with many other things like gold, silver, ebony, ivory and other precious stones, besides coffee that was brought from Yemen.
The expedition lasted three years. It was led by a famous official called Panehsy whose name means the praised. He was one of the very important officials who helped Hatshepsut to ascend the throne of Egypt.
The whole story of the punt expedition was well carved in high relief over the southern portico of the middle terrace of the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir eel-Bahari
This is considered as the first pictorial documentation of a peace expedition sent to that region or any other foreign country.
These five painted limestone fragments were stolen from the Deir el Bahari temple, but were later found and displayed here in the Cairo museum. A replica replaces these 5 original pieces in the temple.
These five fragments represent the reception of the leader of punt, Parehu and his wife Aty. As will as the people of punt welcoming Panehsy and the Egyptian expedition.
They are made of painted limestone which was brought from Tura, Maasara and Mukattam hills. They date back to the reign of Queen Hatshepsut, new kingdom, and 18th dynasty.
Behind Parehu we have an abnormal fat woman, most probably his wife Aty. They are both represented with their characteristic ethnic features.
The woman is not of a good nor pleasant appearance. She was clearly suffering from a disease called (obesity) that causes certain deformations, which are:
The curvature of the vertebral column with high thighs and folds of fat over the wrists, arms, shoulders, legs, ankles and the whole body.
Ati is followed by the retinue or the followers of the chief of punt who are carrying different types of products to the Egyptian expedition.
They are represented with short curly hair wigs, wearing the same kilt of their chief (with two tassels).
The only difference between these kilts and that of their chief is that the kilt of Parehu has a knife as a sign of power and nobility. Following this we have three donkeys, one of which looks poor and weak.