Kneeling Statue of Amenhotep II

In this statue, King Amenhotep II is shown kneeling in a pose of worship, offering two Nu vases for libation to Amun-Re. His body is well modeled with defined muscles. He wears the royal nemes headdress, surmounted by the uraeus, or rearing cobra.

One type of statue, adopted by both individuals and rulers, is that of the kneeling individual holding two rounded vases. This posture is documented throughout the Pharaonic period, although not many examples have survived. The kneeling individual is making an offering to the gods in the temple, in this case two vases filled with wine.

Kneeling Statue of Amenhotep II
Kneeling Statue of Amenhotep II

Nu is the hieroglyph for the vessel used to offer wine or beer. The statue was probably originally in front of the statue of God, forever worshipping this god.

Amenhotep II was born to Thutmose III and a minor wife of the king: Merytre-Hatshepsut. He was not, however, the firstborn son of this king; his elder brother Amenemhat, the son of the great king’s chief wife Satiah, was originally the intended heir to the throne since Amenemhat was designated the ‘king’s eldest son” and overseer of the cattle of Amun in Year 24 of Thutmose’s reign. However, between Years 24 and 35 of Thutmose III, both queen Satiah and prince Amenemhat died, which prompted the pharaoh to marry the non-royal Merytre-Hatshepsut. She would bear Thutmose III a number of children including the future Amenhotep II.

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep II, ca. 1427-1401 BC. Granite, dimensions: 152 x 57 x 79 cm. From the Temple of Amun at Karnak. Drovetti collection (1824). Now in the Egyptian Museum of Turin. Cat. 1375