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date: 22 October 2019


(reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc).
  • R. Krauss


(regc. 1353–c. 1336 bc).

Egyptian queen, principal wife of Akhenaten. Throughout Akhenaten’s reign only Nefertiti was afforded the status of Great Royal Wife, enjoying privileges never bestowed on the spouse of any other Egyptian king before or since. She was the mother of six daughters. The date of her death and the location of her tomb are unknown.

Reliefs, paintings and statuary depict Nefertiti as often as her husband, and during the first years of his reign she was shown with the same physiognomy, characterized by enormous swelling thighs. Later, a distinctive portrait type was created for her, different from Akhenaten’s but, like his, subject to stylistic evolution. The famous painted limestone bust of Nefertiti (Berlin, Ägyp. Mus., 21300; see fig.), which typifies the Queen’s portrait type, retains some elements of the early style, while an unfinished brown quartzite head (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., JE 59286) is rendered in the later softened, ‘idealizing’ style. In early representations she wears either a tripartite or a ‘Nubian’ wig, crowned with an elaborate headdress, but in later images this is replaced by the tall, cylindrical blue crown seen in the Berlin bust....

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