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The Portrait Of A 12th Dynasty Nobleman

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the portrait of a 12th century nobleman. The expression on the face of the nobleman displays what we interpret to be a demonstration of character strength. While the name of the subject portrayed by the Boston head is not preserved, he was evidently a man of wealth and influence. His superb portrayal in an expensive stone could only have been commissioned by an individual with access to the king, whose permission would have been required for access to a royal atelier, where this sculpture was undoubtedly produced. This implies that the nobleman was an official of the highest status, possibly a vizier, the most important position in the empire after the king. The man immortalized by this extraordinary portrait was a person of eminence and, this masterwork will occupy a prominent place in our understanding and appreciation of ancient Egyptian art and culture.

Keywords: 12th dynasty nobleman; Boston head; royal portrait



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