Statuette of an Ethiopian King

Ancient Egypt, 8th century BC

This bronze statuette of an Ethiopian king belongs to the best Ancient Egyptian bronze pieces in the Hermitage collection. It dates to the short period when Egypt was ruled by the XXVth Ethiopian Dynasty (8th - early 7th centuries BC), a period during which the art of the scuptural portrait flourished. According to Ancient Egyptian canon the ruler of the Ethiopian dynasty is shown as a walking man with his left leg thrust forward. Originally the ruler held some attributes in his hands, but these are now lost. One identifying feature of the Ethiopian rulers is a broad diadem placed over short hair, which is adorned with a band made up of imperial symbols in the form of ureus-snakes. Two such large urei (cobras) are placed over the king's forehead. According to Egpytian perceptions, cobras with their fiery breath protected the gods and kings from evil forces. Around his neck the Ethiopian wears an unusual ornament, an amulet in the form of a ram's head on a string. The king's attire is Egyptian - a short pleated apron, the belt of which is adorned with geometrical ornament. The small figure was cast in bronze using the lost wax (cire perdue) method. This is one of only a few pieces in the Hermitage collection to depict a ruler of Ancient Egypt. It possibly shows Shabako (died c. 700 BC), one of the most powerful pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty, who subjugated the Two Lands - Upper and Lower Egypt.


Statuette of an Ethiopian King




8,5 cm

Inventory Number:





User collections including this work of art: