Ameneritis

Illustration

Mark Cartwright
by lak. Drawn by G. Bénédite
published on 08 October 2013

Statue of Ameneritis. Alabaster. Boulak. Drawn by G. Bénédite.

The head of Ameneritis is covered with the full-bottomed wig worn by goddesses. She holds a whip in her left hand and a sort of purse in her right; there are bangles upon her wrist and ankles and the contours of her body are frankly displayed beneath the long chemise-like robe, which falls almost to her ankles.

The features are resolute and intelligent rather than beautiful, the squareness of the lower jaw and the firm line of the mouth being especially significant.

We have, then, every reason to believe this to be a good portrait. Both form and expression are just what might be expected in a high-born Egyptian female possessed of sovereign power. The treatment of the body is rather conventional. The bust, so265 far as it can be traced under the clinging robe, is younger than the head, which is that of a woman in middle life. With these reserves the statue is very pleasing. The arms are a little stiff, but the figure as a whole is characterized by a chaste and sober elegance. The modelling is not insisted upon too much, but its undulating contours are discreetly indicated under the soft though by no means transparent drapery. The whole work is imbued with the spirit of Saite art, an aftermath which was characterized by grace and refinement rather than by freedom and power.

From A History of Art in Ancient Egypt, Vol. II by Georges Perrot and Charles Chipiez (1883).

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