Bust of Queen Nefertiti

ThutmosisAmenophis IV. / Echnaton, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, c. 1340 BCE

Neues Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Neues Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Berlin, Germany

The North Dome Room of the Neues Museum provides a worthy setting for the bust of Nefertiti, the Egyptian Museum’s most famous work. This sculpture was [...] found in Tuthmosis’ studio and its form shows it to be a typical sculptor’s model. Examinations by computertomography have proved that the bust consists of a limestone core, onto which several layers of stucco were applied in the region of the shoulders and the crown. The fine modelling of the face and the precise portrayal of not only the individual wrinkles around the eyes and mouth but also the sinews of the neck were achieved by the application of a layer of plaster which is less than one millimetre thick in some places. The left eye socket is empty and shows the first phase of the insertion of the pupil, which can be seen in the right eye. The right eye is formed of black coloured wax and crystallised quartz and with the addition of the painting the artist was able to glimpse a general impression of the finished work. It was planned to produce additional statues of the queen based on this model; however, Nefertiti disappeared from the political stage shortly after it was completed. Until this point in time she had been a party to all her husband’s political and religious decisions. We still do not know whether Akhenaten rejected his consort or whether Nefertiti died at the age of barely thirty years following an accident or illness. As a result of the sophisticated lighting the world-famous portrait of the attractive Nefertiti has become the moving portrait of a beautiful woman who lives up to her name ‘The beautiful one has come.’ As ‘Egypt’s Permanent Representative in Germany’ she remains the much admired exotic stranger integrated in a global art concept.


  • Title: Bust of Queen Nefertiti
  • Creator: Thutmosis
  • Date Created: Amenophis IV. / Echnaton, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, c. 1340 BCE
  • Provenance: Donation James Simon, 1920
  • Type: Statue
  • Medium: Limestone, gypsum, crystal, wax
  • Inv. no.: ÄM 21300
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-015418
  • External Link: Neues Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyright: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Sandra Steiß || Text © Prestel Verlag / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Collection: Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung | Ägyptisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

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