Exhibitions: Body Parts: Ancient Egyptian Fragments and Amulets

Relief of Sandaled Feet of a Royal Woman

Traditional Egyptian relief rendered both feet as seen from the inside, with the big toe closer to the viewer. In the Eighteenth Dynasty, however, artists began to experiment with more accurate representations, first in tomb painting and then in sculpture and relief. This relief, representing all five toes of the right foot, is one of the first examples of a break with the earlier tradition.

The standardized shape of the block and the realistic modeling are characteristic of the Amarna Period. While several royal women of Amarna wore floor-length pleated garments like these, the life-size scale points to Queen Nefertiti as the owner of these feet.