From the #HistoryOfUs series: Bust of Nefertiti, c. 1340 BCE
Take fewer Snapchat filters – that’s the secret! You can find the most famous example in this bust of Nefertiti. You think this is exactly what Nefertiti looked like? Think again. This doesn’t show the real person but is more an idealised image of what an Egyptian queen should look like.
Even blurring genders! Nefertiti looks pretty much like her husband Akhenaton here – look at her eyes and her even facial features. Astounding!
And yet something very special has been created here, and that’s what makes this bust different from other, often overdrawn, images of the queen – Nefertiti is depicted as a mature with gentle folds under her eyes ...
... dimples around her chin and slightly sunken cheeks. That's what makes her so unique. Less Snapchat filter is more!
Nefertiti’s beauty is legendary. Even in 1912, when the bust was found, she was in tune with the taste of the times. (The Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt, who found her, was completely enchanted; he wrote, “Describing her is useless, you have to see her!”) And that’s still true today.
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz