Colossus of Rameses II

Rameses II 400
Colossus of Rameses
Photo by: exfordy, Creative Commons

Perhaps one of the most well preserved statues of a Pharaoh is the Colossus of Rameses II. A 33.8 ft (10 m) statue made out of limestone was found by the Italian Giovanni Caviglia in 1820.

It is presumed that the huge statue was an unfinished work of a skilled artist for Rameses II since the Pharaoh had a fondness of making sculptures of himself more than any other Egyptian royalty. This sculpture is just one of the structures he he’d erected along the entire stretch of Nile.

The tall structure is now housed in a mini museum in Memphis. The statue is cut at its knees but it is still magnificent to view with its original colors faintly intact. The marble surface is observed to have a finely finished cut, which can be only be accomplished through the hands of a skilled artist.

A look at the statue will make you conclude of how the Egyptian art pictures the anatomical features of Egyptian kings. The shoulders are always broad and the muscle and bone structures tend to be exaggerated.

The markings found at the shoulders and chest of the statue are inscriptions of the Pharaoh’s name as a sign of the statue’s ownership. Also noticeable are epithets with message of commendation for the king to the Egyptian gods.

Tall statues like this one are made to stand as “guards” to important places. In this instance, Colossus of Rameses II is one of a pair that was presumed to stand at Ptah monumental temple.

Aside from the tall statue, the open-air museum features other artifacts like the sculpture of Bes, god of Childhood and fertility, and other ancient statues.

Colossus of Rameses II was once offered by Muhammad Ali to the British Museum. However, the museum declined because shipping the whole figure to London is expensive and extremely difficult.

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