Torso of Nefertiti

Meticulously crafted, a remains of a torso statue from the Amarna period, believed to represent Nefertiti or perhaps one of her daughters. The statue depicts a woman wearing a close-fitting, pleated linen dress. A pleated robe of linen with fringed border tied beneath her right breast and revealing her exaggeratedly voluptuous figure.

Torso of Queen Nefertiti
Torso of Queen Nefertiti

“Nefertiti keeps her well-defined waist but develops a rounded abdomen, large hips, jodhpur-like thighs and pronounced buttocks which remind us of the fact that she has borne at least six children. Her stomach is often highlighted by a single curved line at the base of the abdomen just above the pubic mound… Nefertiti’s breasts receive little attention; they were not considered her most important attribute… Nefertiti’s usual garment, a transparent, pleated linen robe tied with a sash worn either under the bust or around the waist, allows us a clear view of her body.

Indeed, the dress is frequently shown with the front completely open so that the queen’s body is displayed without any obvious form of undergarment. Alternatively Nefertiti dons a dress so fine and so close-fitting that her entire form can be seen through the folds. It is highly unlikely that Nefertiti habitually wore such revealing and uncomfortable garments. Artistic convention had always required that the female form should be well defined…”

Nefertiti: Egypt’s Sun Queen, by Joyce Tyldesley, Penguin Books, London, UK, 2005

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, Amarna Period, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1353-1336 BC. Red quartzite, height: 29 cm. Now in the Louvre. E 25409