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Unfinished head of Nefertiti

Artefact Details

Gallery number: 3 – Ground Floor

Period: New Kingdom

Dynasty: 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep IV- Akhenaten (1353-1336 BC)

Size: Height: 35,5 cm

Place of discovery: Tell el- Amarna

Material: Quartzite, pigment

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This beautifully unfinished head of Queen Nefertiti, the royal wife of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) recalls the iconic beauty of the famous bust now in Neues Museum in Berlin and present her as an idealized royal figure but, despite the unfinished state of the sculpture the classic elements of Nefertiti’s facial features are still visible.
The origins of Nefertiti (his name means «The beautiful one who has come») have not yet been fully clarified but we know that she got married at 13-year-old during the first three years of Akhenaten’s reign. This masterpiece of the Egyptian sculpture cade according to the canons of Amarna style of art, was discovered in 1933 during the excavations at Tell el-Amarna by the Egypt Exploration Society in a sculptor’s workshop that produced composite sculpture pieces and this head was intended to be mounted on a composite statue: the black guidelines on the queen’s face give us an idea how the sculptor worked.