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Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Relief carvers working at Akhenaten's capital devised a method of using space to imply movement—a method seen in this relief of a chariot drawn by a pair of horses. Besides raising the animals' forelegs off the ground in the traditional Egyptian convention for representing a gallop, the artisan introduced the novel device of leaving blank the entire left half of the block. The viewer is supposed to understand this space as the area into which the chariot is moving.

Amarna relief carvers seemed to delight in adding unusual details that broke with Egyptian artistic tradition. On this relief, for example, one of the horses turns its head to stare directly at the viewer. In earlier scenes of chariots, horses were always depicted in pure profile.

MEDIUM Limestone, pigment (modern)
DATES ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E.
DYNASTY late Dynasty 18
PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
DIMENSIONS 21 1/16 x 9 x 1 1/4 in. (53.5 x 22.8 x 3.2 cm)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of New Hermes Foundation
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