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Queen Nefertiti

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The remains of blue paint on Nefertiti’s wig suggest a close relationship with the gods, who were believed to have hair of lapis lazuli, a rare stone. She raises her arms to worship Aten, the chief god of this period, and receives in return from the god an ankh sign at her nose, ensuring her life. The inscription refers to her as “Beloved of Aten.”
MEDIUM Sandstone
  • Possible Place Collected: Thebes (Karnak), Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1352-1348 B.C
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
    DIMENSIONS 8 1/4 × 1 3/8 × 16 1/2 in. (21 × 3.5 × 41.9 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 78.39
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Christos G. Bastis in honor of Bernard V. Bothmer
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Sandstone slab decorated with a sunk relief representation of Queen Nefertiti. Preserved is that portion of the queen's figure from the shoulders to the top of the headband which encircles her heavy wig. The wig has curls "en echelon"; a uraeus rises from the front of the headband. The queen, who faces right, has her arms raised before her in a gesture of worship directed towards a now missing representation of the Aten. Before her nose is the sign of life suspended from a ray of sunlight. Behind her is the partial remains of a column of text. Condition: Top of head and top of uraeus, the hands and the body from below the shoulders are not preserved. Shoulders chipped; small chips here and there. Much red pigment preserved on the queen's skin and some blue pigment on the wig.
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