Sandstone; H. 13 in. (33 cm), W. 12 5/8 in. (32 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1961 (61.117)
Nefertiti, whose name means "the Beautiful One Is Here," was chief queen of Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten. Like Queen Tiye before her, she was a powerful figure in the court and may even have served as co-ruler with the king at the end of his reign. She is shown participating in religious rituals on an equal footing with her husband and she played an unprecedented role in the decoration of the Aten Temple that Amenhotep IV built at Karnak before his move to Tell el-Amarna. She bore him six daughters and the many family scenes still surviving are unique in ancient Egyptian art.
This relief block, which probably came from the Aten Temple of Amarna, shows the queen in the early exaggerated style, with a drooping chin, thin slanted eyes, and a sharply angled nose and brow similar to that seen in depictions of her husband (66.99.40). This is in marked contrast to the famous bust of her found at Amarna and now in Berlin, and to the fragmentary lips of yellow jasper (26.7.1396) that may come from a composite statue of her. She wears an elaborate wig surmounted by a towering crown of uraei, sun disk, two cow horns, and two feathers. Her arm is raised in offering to the Aten.