Portrait of Queen Tiye

Queen Tiye was the spouse of King Amenhotep III and mother of Akhenaten. This small portrait was probably produced in the last years of rule of her husband because the queen is shown at an advanced age. The artist produced a realistic face which captures the personality of Tiye: Intelligent, determined and assertive, all qualities which are also evident through historic-literary sources.

After the death of Amenhotep III and still in the lifetime of Tiye the head was reworked. The originally head scarf of silver with the gold uraeus was covered with several layers of linen which were decorated with small faience beads. A crown consisting of a sundisc, cow horns and a pair of feathers was added separately.

Portrait of queen Tiye
Portrait of Queen Tiye

This type of crown in the portrait of Tiye is usually worn by goddesses or deified queens. By adding this crown to the statue Akhenaten raised his mother, already in her lifetime, into the realm of a goddess. The crown was rediscovered in our collection after having been separated from the head for many years .

Head of Queen Tiye

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, ca. 1391-1353 BC. From Medinet el-Gurob. Now in the Neues Museum, Berlin. ÄM 21834, ÄM 17852