Facsimile painting from the 'Green Room' in the North Palace at Amarna

New Kingdom, Amarna Period

Nina de Garis Davies
Norman de Garis Davies

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 135

This painting is a restoration of a scene of marsh life that formed a continuous frieze in the so-called 'Green Room' in the North Palace at Amarna.

The North Palace was a rather isolated structure on the Royal Road north of the Central City. In its final state, it was the palace of the king's eldest daughter and heir Meritaton; previously it may have been the palace of Kiya. From the entry at the west, courts, solar altars, and a window of appearance are succeeded by more reserved areas around what appears to have been a central well, including a throne room, formal and private apartments, kitchens and staff areas, and animal pens.

At the northeast corner of the North Palace a sunken garden was surrounded on three sides by small cubicles, some of which had windows onto the central garden. Scenes of feeding fowl or waterbank scenes were found in many places within this complex. In one room - the so-called Green Room, a continuous scene of waterfowl and plants had been painted on four walls. This facsimile copies a long preserved stretch on the west wall.

The blank yellow rectangles mark the place of niches in the original Green Room, all of them framed, and the upper ones having a small pool of water painted beneath. At the bottom a water channel with lotus plants is bounded on either side by black silty streches with brushy plants. Above a tangle of marsh plants and and papyrus is populated by lively birds. Surrounding the small space in the cubicle, the strikingly beautiful idyllic painting would have created an encompassing experience.

Facsimile painting from the 'Green Room' in the North Palace at Amarna, Nina de Garis Davies (1881–1965), Tempera on paper

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