Thutmose III as a Sphinx
This finely executed representation of Thutmose III as a sphinx is made of extremely hard stone. The transition between the head of the king and the powerful feline body has been masked by the nemes headdress and the stylized lion’s mane which forms a bib-like panel on the chest.
A short column of inscription running down the chest identifies the king as “the Good God Menkheperre, beloved of [Amun].” The name of the god Amun was erased later in 18th Dynasty during the reign of Akhenaten, and was never restored.
The Metropolitan Museum’s Egyptian collection also includes sphinxes representing Thutmose’s co-ruler Hatshepsut (31.3.94), his son Amenhotep II (30.8.72), and his great grandson Amenhotep III (1972.125).
In Egyptian art, the sphinx statue dates back to 4th Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, more than a thousand years before the time of Thutmose III. The most famous example is the great sphinx at Giza which represents Khafre who also built the second pyramid in about 2500 B.C. The earliest sphinx statue in the Museum’s collection represents the Middle Kingdom king Senusret III (17.9.2) who ruled about 1850 BC.
New Kingdom, mid-18th Dynasty, reign of Thutmose III, ca. 1479-1425 BC. Made of Quarzite. Dimensions: l. 34.6 cm (13 5/8 in); w. 11.4 cm (4 1/2 in); h.. 23.3 cm (9 3/16 in); weight 4.5 kg (9.9 lb). Now in the Metropolitan Museum. 08.202.6