Relief of Queen Nefertiti Kissing her Daughter
In sunk limestone relief, at left Nefertiti, preserved head and neck, kissing a princess whose arm is extended around her mother. At right, three mutilated columns of text and above, one ray of the Aten holding an ankh. Flesh folds indicated on necks of both figures. Queen wears braided wig with diadem.
The princess wears long side-lock and earrings. “The princess, of his body, his beloved Merit-Aton”. All blue in inscription at right, on the queen’s wig and on hair lock of princess. Ancient red pigment on ribbon of queen’s wig, on area around earring, on center of neck, between lips, and chin of the two faces, on forehead of princess, on hand of Aten and the ankh.
Egyptian art made in the centuries before Akhenaten came to the throne gives few clues to the lives or feelings of members of the royal family. Artisans working in the Amarna Period, however, began representing scenes of intimacy between the king, the queen, and their six daughters. This relief, for example, shows Nefertiti kissing one of her daughters full on the lips.
The relief is also noteworthy for the evidence it provides of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess’s image has not been touched, the queen’s face has been badly damaged.
New Kingdom, late 18th Dynasty, Amarna Period, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1353- 1336 BC. Limestone and pigment, found in Hermopolis. Now in the Brooklyn Museum. 60.197.8