Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Nefertiti

signature image

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Nefertiti
Flourished circa 1349–1336 B.C., ancient Egypt

Nefertiti was the Great Royal Wife, or chief wife, of the heretic pharaoh Amenhotep IV (later known as Akhenaten), whose rule from 1349 to 1336 B.C. is often called the Amarna period. Among the many changes initiated under his reign were: the substitution of monotheistic worship of the god Aten for the centuries-old practice of polytheism; the move of the capital city from Thebes to Amarna; and the appointment of Nefertiti as his co-regent, a position of equality seldom afforded to Great Royal Wives. It has been suggested that after Akhenaten's death Nefertiti ruled in her own right under the name of Smenkhkare; however, many scholars consider this unlikely.

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