Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut
The Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut is a magnificent piece of art located in the Egyptian section next to many other statues of the great pharaoh Hatshepsut.Out of all the statues of Hatshepsut, the Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut was kept in the best shape and caught a lot of attention from the people in the room.Its great size is something truly remarkable, considering it was built in the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt.
More importantly, this statue is the first structure in art that depicts a woman leader. Not only is it a truly unique piece of work, but also it is a piece that is revolutionary for its time.
The massive size of this statue leaves one wondering if women have always been just as powerful as men, if not more. Hatshepsut is the first recorded female pharaoh in all of time. Even though she was a queen, the Egyptians still gave her a beard, which was traditional in artworks for the pharaoh. This masculine feature gives her a solid presence. Even though she might not look like a powerful pharaoh, the beard helps her followers believe that she is just as commanding as any man. She also has on the nemes headdress typical for a pharaoh to wear. Looking into the face it is visible how old this structure is.
It is very rough, rigid and is kind of hard to make out the eyes. However, the lips and nose seem very realistic and gives the viewer a sense of how much time and precision went into this piece many years ago. It can be seen that the Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut was carved from a block because there is no space in between the legs and the block on the bottom. All of these incredible features that are usually linked as a part of man exemplify the queen as she felt on the inside. When looking into Hatshepsut’s face, there is no visible emotion. This was probably to make her seem serious about her reign over Egypt.
Also, she is a heavy and bulky structure. The size, the beauty, and the image of the sculpture were all used a to her advantage. Her people saw her no differently from the other male emperors before her. The beard and the headdress were utilized as props to make her seem like the powerful woman. Hatshepsut is holding two orbs in both of her hands. This was a way of getting the message across to her people that she was also a giver. They were probably used as offerings to the gods. The orbs seem to kind of weigh down her arms. The legs support the arms from falling on the ground.
This shows how there is weight bearing down on her arms due to the orbs that she holds in her hands. In addition, Hatshepsut is perfectly balanced. This balance creates calmness, reflecting the tranquil time period she was ruler. The orbs gives off a sense of how great a pharaoh was made to look through the artwork that they were in. In the New Kingdom time period, no one was really portrayed realistically, and that can really be seen in this work of art. Hatshepsut was the first woman pharaoh ever recorded in history. Although there are a few obvious breaks, this granite sculpture was put back together nicely.
Because this piece is so important, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has to be careful of what to light up on the sculpture. This does not look easy because the statue is so massive, but the Met did a good job capturing the face with light, and the top of the orbs. The shadows also reflect how angular this statue really is, and the unrealistic body of the woman pharaoh Hatshepsut. For this weighty, magnificent piece of art to be produced in such a time period makes it something to really marvel at. It gives me a feeling of awe deep inside. The size, the beauty, and the description really leave its viewers pondering how it was constructed.
It is known that it was carved out of a block, but the time and effort must have been a tremendous amount. They had to use brute strength and primitive tools to build art that would be hard to build today. To construct such a sculpture at the time is baffling because technology was almost inexistent in Ancient Egypt. This makes one think if they had help from an outside source such as aliens, and if so does this mean that aliens believe women are equal to men. In the time of 1550-1070 BCE when this large statue was created, Egypt was considered to be in its New Kingdom period, one of seven different periods in Ancient Egypt.
During its time, the Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut was praised for being a powerful leader. Today, the statue is seen in a totally different light. People look at Hatshepsut as a woman who changed the gender roles, not a woman who is doing a great job leading. The Ancient Egyptians probably didn’t think twice that their leader had a beard because that was the traditional way. Hatshepsut is sculpted with the idealized image of the pharaoh seen with a beard and the nemes headdress. This resembles another peace of art from the New Kingdom, the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut.
This temple echoes what the cliff looks like just how Pharaoh Hatshepsut would echo what her followers looked like. Both peaces of art are were built to fit comfortably into their surroundings, except Hatshepsut was a woman. Menkaure and Wife Statue from the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt is also similar and different to Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut. This statue is more formal and very stiff. Also, the queen is in her classic pose, putting her left hand over her body. In this statue, the king is similar to Hatshepsut.
Nefertiti made by Thurmost from the Amarna period of Ancient Egypt is very different from the Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut. Nefertiti just like many other statues from its time is more relaxed. Although she was not a queen, Nefertiti was very famous. She dressed like a beautiful woman and was the standard of beauty, unlike dressing like a man to fit in like Hatshepsut did. The Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut makes one have a sense of belief that women have always been as powerful as men like women are portrayed today.
It is a very impressive sculpture that really makes the viewer wonder how it was created. The size, beauty, and description make it a really noticeable piece of art from its time period. The artwork is a great example of how leaders are put into the art of their country. Queen Hatshepsut utilized the fact that she can influence men into following her by dressing more like them. This made the men feel comfortable with their leader; therefore, they would give their trust into her. Pharaoh Hatshepsut was a truly unique woman.