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TRIAL PIECE

Egypt: el-Amarna
New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
Reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1350-1334 B.C.
Limestone
12.5 cm H, 12.8 cm W
Purchased in New York, 1959
OIM 19477

It is uncertain whether this small relief is a student's practice piece or the unfinished work of a trained sculptor. Although the figure wears no royal insignia, it is probably the Pharaoh Akhenaten, depicted in the exaggerated style of the Early Period of Amarna art. The king's strange facial features-which served as a model for all human representations during his reign-include narrow slanting eyes, long nose, hollow cheeks, thick lips, and hanging chin. The sculptor has added incised lines to indicate the angle of the jaw and the crease that extends downward from the edge of the nose. Akhenaten wears a short 'Nubian' or military-style wig; the detailing of the curls has been left uncarved.


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Revised: November 12, 1997
Copyright 2006 Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
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