While still abiding by the strict rules dictated by religions considerations, Egyptian art adopted under the impulse of Amenophis IV Akhenaton (18th Dynasty) a style as revolutionary as the monotheist dogma promulgated by the Pharaoh.
As a vehicle for his thought, the image used by the king is not limited to that of the solar orb, Aton, the only god creator of all living things. In order to express his ideas of reform, he exploits his own persons as well as that of the Great Royal Spouse witch incredible audacity. The exaggerated swells in the royal couple's thighs and hips, amongst other parts, evoke the source of life, gift of the god inhabiting them, which they transmit to their subjects.
It is therefore not surprising to see the beautiful and mysterious Nefertiti - this being most probable identification - portrayed with the bust of an adolescent and deformed to the point of resembling a fertility goddess. However, such heaviness is reduced by the elegant and ingenious combination of the tunic, with its radiating folds in the drapery, and the piped shawl. These representational devices soften the body to which the material, a beautiful red quartzite, conveys an intense verisimilitude.
Far from the usual interpretations which present only the face of Nefertiti, this work remains very suggestive, despite its mutilation: the sovereign must have been advancing towards the god with eyes half-closed and the right arm raised in sign of respect. The existence of an antique bronze tenon shows the position of the arm and verifies the restoration elaborated on one of the rare cult statues known of Akhenaton's wife.
Reproduction in hand patinated resin
- H. 31 L. 12 P. 12 cm
H. 12.2" W. 4.7" D. 4.7" - 7.5 lbs
- Egypt, New Kingdom
- Material of the original
- Red Quartzite
- Circa 1365-1349 B.C., 28th dynasty, Amarna period
- Paris - Musée du Louvre
- Queens and kings, Egypt
- Art movement
- Egyptian Antiquities