Queen Nefertari Playing Senet

Artist: Nina de Garis Davies (1881–1965)

Period: Original New Kingdom, Ramesside

Dynasty: Dynasty 19

Reign: reign of Ramesses II

Date: ca. 1279–1213 B.C.

Geography: Original from Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Valley of the Queens (Biban el-Malikat), Tomb of Nefertari (QV 66)

Medium: Tempera on paper

Dimensions: Facsimile: H. 43 cm (16 15/16 in); W. 46 cm (18 1/8 in); scale 1:2; Framed: H. 45.5 cm (17 15/16 in.); W. 49 cm (19 5/16 in.)

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1930

Accession Number: 30.4.145


During her life, Nefertari was the principal queen of Ramesses II, and judging from the monuments created for her, Nefertari was also the king's favorite wife. At Abu Simble, the the king constructed a small rock-cut temple for her next to his own, and when Nefertari died, he commissioned a beautifully painted tomb for her in what is now called the Valley of the Queens.

This facsimile copies of one of the paintings from Nefertari's tomb. In this vignette, the queen is in front of a table and is playing a game of senet in which her invisible opponant is fate. She wears an elaborately pleated and fringed gown of sheer linen. She also wears a gold bracelet, a broad collar, and what are probably silver earrings. On her head is the vulture headdress of a queen. The facsimile was painted at the tomb in 1921-1922 by Nina deGaris Davies who was a member of the Graphic Section of the Museum's Egyptian Expedition.