Today we show you one of the masterpieces of ancient Egyptian art, The Triad of Menkaure, found in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir.
This statue, described as a triad because it depicts three figures, shows two deities on either side of King Menkaure (c.2532–2503 BC), the builder of the third pyramid in Giza, who is also known as Mykerinos. He is depicted young and in perfect shape, embodying the ideal of male form during the Old Kingdom. On his right-hand side is a female figure with a sun disk on her head between cow horns. This is Hathor, the goddess of love, music, and motherhood. With her youth and graceful proportions, she represents the ideal of female beauty during this period. On the king’s left-hand side is a short male deity. The standard on his head identifies him as a personification of province of the city of Thebes (modern Luxor). The composition is symmetrical without being identical, and each individual figure is elegant, yet powerful. The attention to anatomical detail and the mastery of its execution are evident in the king’s clavicle, knees, and forearms, and in the rendering of Hathor’s tight-fitting dress. This statue is one of a series commissioned by Menkaure, in which he represents himself in the company of Hathor and a deity personifying one of Egypt’s provinces.
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