Horses Harnessed to a Chariot

New Kingdom, Amarna Period

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 for the reemergence of the royal family. 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 Egypt

Horses Harnessed to a Chariot, Limestone, paint

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