Bust of Queen Hatshepsut - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 18th Dynasty 1500 B.C.
Upon the death of her father, Tuthmosis I, Hatshepsut became sole legitimate heir. Tradition demanded however, that only a male heir could ascend the throne. Hatshepsut married her half-brother Tuthmosis II, who died prematurely. Once again it was a stepson, Tuthmosis III, born of a concubine, who was crowned. Serving first as a regent for the young king, Hatshepsut assumed the royal title in the second year and ruled egypt for two prosperous and relatively peaceful decades. This bust derives from one of the statues placed throughout her magnificent funerary temple at Keir el Bahri which was intended to both legitimize and commemorate her rule. The statue shows the great Queen in idealized masculine guise. Nevertheless, the prim little face and the delicate figure give a distinctly feminine impression.
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