Sunday, March 9, 2014

Museum Pieces - Nefertiti offering flowers to Aten

Caption: Nefertiti, ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E. Limestone, painted, 9 1/4 x 15 3/16 in. (23.5 x 38.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 71.89. Creative Commons-BY

Occasionally we can identify one of the members of the Amarna royal family by a unique characteristic. The woman on this column drum has a tall, flat-topped crown worn exclusively by Nefertiti. This same headdress appears on the famous bust of the queen that is in the Berlin Museum.

Limestone sunk relief which, to judge from the convex curve of the decorated surface, once formed part of a column. To the left is Nefertiti, facing right, wearing the crown peculiar to her and Queen Tiy. She offers a formal bouquet to the Aten, three of whose rays reach to receive it. In front of her stands Akhenaton wearing a Blue Crown with streamers. Only the rear third of his body is preserved. Nefertiti is preserved from the waist up. 

Inscription: one line above the offering scene: “given life forever eternally”. Above “given life” are the bottom portions of two cartouches. 

Condition: Lower left corner broken off and replaced. Chips out of Nefertiti's crown, her right arm and elbow, her left hand and wrist, and the base of her neck. Traces of blue paint in hieroglyphs, flowers, and both crowns. Traces of red paint in both bodies, hands of the Aten and the base of the bouquet.

Medium: Limestone, painted
Possible Place Made: El Amarna, Egypt
Dates: ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E.
Dynasty: late XVIII Dynasty
Period: New Kingdom, Amarna Period
Dimensions: 9 1/4 x 15 3/16 in. (23.5 x 38.5 cm)  (show scale)
Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
Museum Location: This item is on view in Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Accession Number: 71.89
Credit Line: Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY


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