Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Horses Harnessed to a Chariot

New Kingdom, Amarna Period
Dynasty 18
reign of Akhenaten
ca. 1353–1336 B.C.
From Egypt; Probably from Middle Egypt, Hermopolis (Ashmunein; Khemenu); Probably originally from Amarna (Akhetaten)
Limestone, paint
H. 22.9 (9 in); W. 52.1 (20 1/2 in); Th. 3.8 cm (1 1/2 in)
Credit Line:
Gift of Norbert Schimmel, 1985
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 121
Numerous representations of horse-drawn chariots are included in the official scenes at Amarna. Both the king and queen are shown driving themselves in what appears to be a mad dash to the Great Temple, their attendants racing behind. In its way, the arrival by chariot, in the view of the populace, constitutes a kind of procession that replaces the processions of divine images in traditional Egyptian religion.

Throughout Egyptian history, artists took great care in depicting animals, a tradition that was continued and expanded during the Amarna period. On this fragment, a pair of horses are at rest, probably waiting outside the entrance to the temple. The artist has depicted the instant one horse nibbles at its leg. This capturing of a moment in time, though not found exclusively in the art of Amarna, probably would not have appeared in a ceremonial context in any other period of Egyptian art.
Norbert Schimmel Collection, by 1964, published and exhibited frequently from that time. Donated to the Museum by Mr. Schimmel, 1985.

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