Art: Power and Some Glory

Hieratic, square-shouldered, level-eyed, they seemed as impressive and impassive—and as remote—as the pyramids they built. This was the image of Egypt's pharaohs, bodied forth in stone by the royal sculptors, for some 1,500 years. Then, in 1378 B.C., began the reign of Amenhotep IV. For a time so remote in history, the records are understandably imprecise. But it seems clear that in his 17-year rule, Amenhotep IV changed the style and direction of its art.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding, the Brooklyn Museum has assembled a rare collection of objects from...

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