By Jacqueline Engel
ca. 1473-1458 B.C.E.; Dynasty 18; reign of Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III; New Kingdom
Egyptian; Western Thebes
Red granite; H. 65 3/4 in. (167 cm) – The MET New York.
This graceful, life-size statue depicts Hatshepsut in female attire, but she wears the nemes headcloth, a royal attribute usually reserved for the reigning king.
In the columns of text inscribed beside her legs on the front of the throne, she has already adopted the throne name Maatkare, but her titles and epithets are still feminine. Thus, she is Lady of the Two Lands and Bodily Daughter of Re.
On the back of the throne, part of an unusual and enigmatic scene is preserved. At the left is the goddess Ipi, a protective deity depicted as a pregnant hippopotamus with feline legs who wears a crocodile draped across her head and down her back and carries knives.
This goddess was the protector of pregnant women and of children and thus would have been associated with the reigning queen. This mixture of attributes belonging to king and queen suggests that the statue comes from the time when Hatshepsut was making the transition from queen regent to coruler with her nephew Tuthmosis III