Egyptian / Fragmentary Head of a Queen / ca. 1352-36 B.C.E.Egyptian
Fragmentary Head of a Queen
ca. 1352-36 B.C.E.

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Creator Nationality: African; North African; Egyptian
Creator Name-CRT: Egyptian
Title: Fragmentary Head of a Queen
Title Type: Object name
View: Alternate View
Creation Start Date: -135
Creation End Date: -133
Creation Date: ca. 1352-36 B.C.E.
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Yellow jasper
Dimensions: H. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 26.7.1396
Credit Line: Purchase, Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1926

This extraordinary fragment, polished to a mirrorlike finish probably belonged to a composite statue in which only the exposed parts of the body were made of jasper. In Egyptian artistic convention, the color yellow usually indicates a woman, and the scale and superb quality of the work implies that it represents a queen. The back of the piece shows remains of the mortise that fitted into a tenon extending from the statue's body, which may have been made of Egyptian alabaster to represent a white garment.

Two headdresses might have fit this head, one of which is the so-called Nubian wig (like the one on a canopic jar lid in the Museum, 30.8.54), often worn by the women of Akhenaten's family. The royal woman represented here cannot be securely identified. It is difficult to imagine that Akhenaten's already aged mother, Queen Tiye-highly respected as a wise woman at Amarna-was shown as a beauty of such sensuous character. His principal queen, Nefertiti, and his secondary queen, Kiya, however, are both possible subjects.

Related Work Description: References
Link to Work: MMA_.30.8.54
AMICA ID: MMA_.26.7.1396
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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