Plaque of a princess eating a roasted duck

In this sculptor’s model plaque, the princess is biting into a duckling held in her right hand, while reaching with her left hand for fresh fruits and vegetables placed on a table in front of her. The artist had begun to carve the lower part of the body and the cushion on which the princess is sitting.

This model is an extraordinary artist’s study that shows the technical skill and creativity of the Egyptian artist during the Amarna period. This example represents a break from long-established tradition through the depiction of the moments before, during, or after a meal.

Plaque of a princess eating a roasted duck
Plaque of a princess eating a roasted duck

This plaque shows an artist’s sketch, probably made to practice the new artistic mode of the period. It is unfinished, as only the lower half of the plaque was carved in relief; and so contributes to the knowledge of the stages these artists followed in order to produce such a piece. The scene shows one of the six royal daughters, wearing a transparent cloak that reveals her body and seated on a cushion. She is represented by the artistic characteristics of Amarna, having an elongated head, large stomach and slim neck and arms. She also has a heavy lock of hair on one side of her head, symbolizing childhood and adolescence. She extends one of her hands towards a table, laden with various fruits and vegetables as well as bread; and is about to devour the duck in her other hand.

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, Amarna Period, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1353-1336 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 48035