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House altar: Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their three daughters under the Strahlenaton

Artist unknownAmenhotep IV / Akhenaten,1351–1334 BCE

Neues Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Neues Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Berlin, Germany

The famous altar relief from a house in Amarna shows Akhenaten with his wife Nefertiti and three of their daughters under the solar disc of Aten. The tips of the sun’s rays are shown as hands extending symbols of life towards the royal couple. The features of both the king and the queen have been drawn in a new exaggerated style. Traditionally rulers were depicted as being both youthful and handsome, in order to document the power of the kingly state. Akhenaten and Nefertiti distanced themselves from this ideal and had themselves portrayed realistically, and even, during the early years of their reign, ill-favouredly. A no less extreme break with tradition is the representation of the daughters with heads which are elongated at the back as a manifestation of the life-giving power of the sun god. This representation, together with the caricature-like overdrawing of the faces, is a purely stylistic device and is not an indication of hereditary or intentionally produced deformities.

Details

  • Title: House altar: Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their three daughters under the Strahlenaton
  • Creator: Artist unknown
  • Date Created: Amenhotep IV / Akhenaten,1351–1334 BCE
  • Provenance: Acquisition H. O. Deibel, 1898
  • Type: Relief (stele)
  • Medium: Limestone
  • Inv. no.: ÄM 14145
  • 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 || Text © Prestel Verlag / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Collection: Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung | Ägyptisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Additional Items

Hausaltar: Echnaton, Nofretete und drei ihrer Töchter

House Altar: Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their three Daughters

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