Upper Part of the Seated Statue of a Queen

New Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 115

This image of a queen wearing the vulture headdress over a voluminous tripartite wig was split off its backslab in antiquity, most probably by somebody who wanted to make use of this conveniently shaped piece of stone for other purposes. It is conceivable that a king (her father, son, or husband) was originally represented seated beside her. The sculpture has been identified tentatively as Queen Ahmes Nefertari, mother of Amenhotep I, and dated to the reign of Ahmose (ca. 1550-1525 B.C.) at the very beginning of the 18th Dynasty. However, the remarkable flatness of the face and wig is familiar from certain works created during the 17th Dynasty (compare the seated statue of Siamun, 65.115), and the intriguing interplay of fleshy musculature in the lower part of the face is even reminiscent of late Middle Kingdom images. This combination of stylistic traits is best understood in the context of the excitingly multifaceted artistic period between the end of the Middle and the beginning of the New Kingdom.

Upper Part of the Seated Statue of a Queen, Indurated limestone, paint

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front view