Relief of Nefertiti
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Gray and pink granite
ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E.
late Dynasty 18
New Kingdom, Amarna Period
4 13/16 x 2 3/8 x 1 15/16 in. (12.2 x 6 x 5 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour
Tell el-Amarna, Egypt; December 18-19, 1892, purchased at El-Hagg Qandil, Egypt by Charles Edwin Wilbour; 1896, inherited from Charles Edwin Wilbour by Charlotte Beebe Wilbour; 1914, inherited from Charlotte Beebe Wilbour by Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour; 1916, gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour to the Brooklyn Museum.
Small fragment of sunk relief in granite. At right, head of Nefertiti worshipping the Aten, whose rays descend from the left. Possibly a detail from a sarcophagus.
Condition: Preserved portion in good condition.
Relief of Nefertiti, ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E. Gray and pink granite, 4 13/16 x 2 3/8 x 1 15/16 in. (12.2 x 6 x 5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 16.64. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.16.64_wwg7.jpg)
installation, West Wing gallery 7 installation, CUR.16.64_wwg7.jpg
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
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What is the date of these art works?
All of the artworks in this gallery date to the reign of a pharaoh who went by the name Akhenaten. He ruled from about 1352 to 1336 BCE.
What materials and tools were used to make these?
The two lighter colored reliefs are carved in limestone and the darker one is granite.
Like with all ancient Egyptian stone carving, artisans would have created rough shapes with metal chisels (copper or bronze) and smoothed out the details using sand as an abrasive.
What is the purpose of works like these?
The two limestone reliefs likely come from a wall in a temple. The granite fragment may come from a larger sculpture. All three show royal women from the time of the pharaoh Akhenaten.
The nursing scene (at the top) is meant to show the strong bonds of the royal family. It likely depicts the Queen Nefertiti and one of her daughters. The fragment to the left shows two princesses, likely also Nefertiti's daughters. The princesses had important symbolic and religious roles. The granite fragment to the right also depicts Nefertiti, she can be seen receiving symbols of life from hands that seem to be coming from the sky. The arms can be understood a emanating from an image of the sun like rays. The chief deity during this time, the Aten, was shown as a sun disk.