Art has been used for many years to display the way artists feel or to make others feel something. At some point in history, artists began using political leaders and authority figures as inspiration. Political leaders and rulers were depicted as powerful, large, and beautiful. This is definitely the case in the wooden head sculpture of Queen Tiye. In this essay, I’m going to discuss the formal and stylistic attributes of Queen Tiye of Egypt portrait head,c. 1355 BCE from Medinet el-gurob, Egypt. As well as talking about the contextual history. (spacing)
P2 Queen Tiye of Egypt is a wooden sculpture of the Queen’s head from 1355 BCE. The most significant thing about this sculpture is how well it has preserved over thousands of years. The most attention grabbing aspect is the eyes and mouth. The fact that the mouth is almost frowning caught my attention right away. Based off of this sculpture one might think she was a very strict women, but also very beautiful and elegant. The original sculpture had a huge crown on her head, but that deteriorated with time. You can still see the details in the headdress. The two long gold feathers in between the horns seems to show the amount of power she had, unlike the other queens during her time. “The inclusion of the disk is significant of Re, the sun god, is significant because Tiye’s son worshiped only the Aten, the disk or orb of the sun, rejecting the polytheism of the pharaohs who ruled before him.” (Dewitte, 378). Dimensions in P3.
P3 This Bust of Queen Tiye is constructed of yew wood, ebony, gold, silver, lapis lazuli, textiles and faience. Making the texture not so smooth, the smoothest part seems to be the face. It has a great amount of detail surrounding her eyes, mouth, and headpiece. Although it is hard to tell; this sculpture was originally very brightly colored. “The earlier golden crown was covered with a finely woven linen cap and decorated with blue faience beads.” (Dewitte, 378). You can still see the blue and gold in the earing she has. This color scheme is consistent most sculptures during this time period for people of power. The sculpture is only a few feet wide and tall but looks very different from all angles. (scale and 3D form) The head is 4 x 3 x 3 ¼ in., and the base is 4 x 4 ¾ x 4 ¾ in. (Dewitte, 378). In my opinion the focal point of the sculpture is the mouth. Although the eyes seem to be another focal point I can not help but have my attention drawn toward her frown.
P4 – omitted Stylistic analysis.
P5 During the time period women were not given much power or responsibility. “She exerted an enormous influence at the courts of both her husband and son (Who? need names.) and is known to have communicated directly with rulers of foreign nations.” (Mark). “Tiye, known also as Taia, Tiy and Tiyi, is believed to have lived from about 1398 BC – 1338 BC.” (Klimczak). It seems she handled most of the foreign affairs while her son was in power, and after she passed away he began to fail as Egypt’s leader. Need dates, names and more specifics to set context. “Her parents’ names, some claim, are not Egyptian, and it has been suggested that they were Nubian. Scholars who have noted Tiye’s unusual role in the affairs of state point to the Nubian custom of female rulers. The Candaces * of Nubia were all strong female rulers, and so some scholars speculate that perhaps Tiye felt free to wield power in the same way as a male ruler because of her upbringing and heritage.” (Mark) because she had such a song strong influence, an artist created a bust of her, captivating a big head of hair, a stern face, and an elegant, rich way about her. * Term is used but not explained in quoted source. However, would be a good practice to look up the definition and give it for the reader. Candace is an alternate spelling of Kandake – the title of a Nubian queen. Found on Wikipedia search: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kandake
P6 I enjoyed learning a little more about this form of art not only because it preserved so well, but it really made me wonder what kind of woman she was. She seems to have been a very assertive and loyal woman. Although there is really no way of knowing exactly how she died or if she was of Nubian descent, her people appreciated her, and an artist depicted her as a goddess.
DeWitte, Debra J., et al. Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts. 2nd ed., Thames & Hudson, 2015.
Klimczak, Natalia. “Tiye: One of the Most Influential Women of Ancient Egypt”.
Mark, Joshua. “Tiye”. Editorial review. Ancient history encyclopedia. 2011.
3, or more, sources as required.
Citations are not in hanging indent.
Citations are complete.
List is in alphabetical order.
Egyptian, Queen Tiye of Egypt portrait head,c. 1355 BCE from Medinet el-gurob,
constructed of yew wood, ebony, gold, silver, lapis lazuli, textiles and faience,
4 x 3 x 3¼”