Formalist Analysis of King Menkure and His Chief Queen

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I chose the sculpture of King Menkure and His Chief Queen. The sculpture group of King Menkure and His Queen is positioned in one of the basic types of Egyptian sculpture – the Standing/Striding pose. The figure of Menkure is rigidly frontal, although his head is slightly turned to the right. His left foot is slightly advanced, however the upper body does not respond to this uneven distribution of weight - there is no tilt in the shoulders, nor a shift in the hips. All movement of the figure is suppressed: his muscular arms hang down his athletic body, they are not flexed at the elbow and do not break through the front contour of his thighs. The body remains wedded to the block of stone from which it was carved. The artist does not remove the “dead stone” between the arms and torso and most importantly his advanced leg is not carved in the round, which contributes to the solid and majestic appearance of the statue. The Queen assumes the same rigidly frontal posture, however her left leg is less advanced than his, which alludes that she is a subordinate figure to her king – in this stance she is just echoing the pharaoh’s decisive actions. She embraces the pharaoh with her right arm placing her hand around his waist; her left arm is bent at the elbow and covering her stomach rests on the king’s left arm.

There is a space of about couple of centimeters between the statues that widens towards the base, and which makes Menkure appear standing independently from his female counterpart. In this frontal, striding forward posture the pharaoh looks confident and in control. The Queen, however, cannot be thought of as an independent statue. First of all, the statue of the king overlaps that of the queen: her right shoulder becomes fused with and overlapped by his left shoulder. Second of all, she has both of her arms around him and not the other way around. Although her appearance conveys the message of majesty and serenity, to me she also appears to be...
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