10The Stele of Hatshepsut and Thutmosi III: a trip to Ancient Egypt

Your tour in the Vatican Museums begins with a precious Egyptian masterpiece of art preserved in the Gregorian Egyptian Museum. It is a commemorative stele from Thebes made of sandstone during the XVIII dynasty (1473-1458 BC), the so-called Stele of Hatshepsut and Thutmosi III.

Hatshepsut was the daughter of Thutmosi I and the consort of Thutmosi II: at the death of the latter, the queen assumed command of the kingdom as a co-agent of her grandson-stepson Thutmosi III. Hatshepsut later claimed absolute power over the kingdom of Egypt ruling it for 22 years. Upon his death, his nephew took over the government in his place, and promoted a harsh campaign of damnatio memoriae against his aunt-tutor, erasing his image from all the works of art in the country. The work in question, which represents aunt and nephew in the act of offering gifts to the god Amon Ra, is certainly to be placed in the period of co-generosity, when the relationship between the two was still peaceful and peaceful.