The Nefertiti Bust

The Nefertiti Bust is a painted stucco-coated limestone bust of Nefertiti, the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. The work is believed to have been crafted in 1345 B.C. by the sculptor Thutmose because it was found in his workshop in Amarna. The bust does not have any inscriptions, but can be certainly identified as Nefertiti by the characteristic crown, which she wears in other surviving depictions, for example, the ‘house altar.’ Egypt. It is one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt. Owing to the work, Nefertiti has become one of the most famous women of the ancient world, and an icon of feminine beauty. The Nefertiti bust was found on 6 December 1912 at Amarna by the German Oriental Company (Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft), led by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt. It is currently on display at the Neues Museum in Berlin. It has also been the subject of an intense argument between Egypt and Germany over Egyptian demands for its repatriation, which began in 1924 once the bust was first displayed to the public.

The bust of Nefertiti is 48 centimetres (19 in) tall and weighs about 20 kilograms (44 lb). It is made of a limestone core covered with painted stucco layers. The face is completely symmetrical and almost intact, but the left eye lacks the inlay present in the right. The pupil of the right eye is of inserted quartz with black paint and is fixed with beeswax. The background of the eye-socket is unadorned limestone. Nefertiti wears her characteristic blue crown known as the “Nefertiti cap crown” with a golden diadem band looped around like horizontal ribbons and joining at the back, and a Uraeus (cobra) over her brow – which is now broken. She also wears a broad collar with a floral pattern on it. The ears also have suffered some damage.

Nefertiti (meaning “the beautiful one has come forth”) was the chief consort of Pharaoh Akhenaten of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, who ruled from 1352 BC to 1336 BC. Little is known about her. She bore six daughters to Akhenaten, one of whom, Ankhesenpaaten (renamed Ankhesenamun after the suppression of the Aten cult), married Tutankhamun, Nefertiti’s stepson.

Credit: Wikipedia.