Goblet To Commemorate Love And Devotion

806 words - 4 pages

This Goblet Inscribed with the names King Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti, is made of travertine, (Egyptian alabaster) height 5 ½ in diameter 4 1/8 in. (MET). When I look at this piece I feel it may commemorate a wedding, anniversary, or King Akhenaten’s deep love and affections for his principal Queen Nefertiti. This Piece encompasses the changes King Amenhotep is making in the Egyptian culture, as the previous artworks and vessels have a much different look and style. King Akhenaten has as of yet changed his name as the cup shows the name Amenhotep IV and his principal Queen Nefertiti. This places the goblet at about 5 years into King Akhenaten’s rule over Egypt. The Goblet is not a typical show of craft for that time in Egypt.
Amenhotep IV was the first pharaoh to challenge the Egyptian culture and religious beliefs. His decision to make Aten, “The God of the Sun Disk”, the only god, took power away from the temple priests. Before Amenhotep IV made the changes, Egypt practiced polytheism not only worshiping the Sun Disk God, but around 12 other gods with roles such as fertility, the sky, the Nile River, childbirth, etc. With Egypt practicing monotheisms the temple priest have lost control of any political or religious gain they once held. This will be the first time Egypt practices monotheism. In making this change Amenhotep IV became known as Akhenaten, “Shining Spirit of Aten”. Becoming Akhenaten was not the only changes reflected from his reign as pharaoh. Akhenaten moved the whole palace, the new palace was called Akhetaten, “Place of the Sun Disk’s Power”. The palace was centralized between the old palace in Memphis and the religious location of Thebes.
The changes made to the religion, location, and pharaoh’s name also reflected changes to the art culture in Egypt. The artwork and structures took on a softer more pleasing elegant look, as opposed to the, “traditional (more formal) modes of representation” (Fiero 55) before Akhenaten’s reform. The earlier Egyptian art is informational and ceremonial often depicting scenes of a story. Many of the art showed the many gods of their polytheistic religion. Most of the artifacts that have been well preserved from this time period have been found in the tombs of the past pharaoh’s, which may be why they appear so formal...

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