Monday, October 10, 2011

Akhenaten and his family Discussion 4

This painted limestone relief portrays an Egyptian royal family. This relief is square shaped and the upper left corner has a missing piece. It is not know how it was damaged but a small chunk has been taken off. The sides a not straight but kind of curved. On the right side of the relief pointing towards that right corner there is a small piece that broke off that is in the shape of a right triangle. Below that there can be seen smaller chunks that broke off. In addition to that compared to the left side the right has a smooth appearance and the left side has a bumpy appearance to it because of the blemishes. The areas where the figures has a rough and bumpy appearance because if you touch a carving you can feel the bumps and the rough curves and edges. It give the viewer the impression that this relief was broken off something else like a wall. The pharaoh and his queen have three children. The queen has a child that looks about the age of four or five and it is pointing at its sibling that is being cradled by the father. What appears to be the youngest child is sitting on his mother's right shoulder and he is pointing to his sibling that is being cradled in his father's arms. The child that is cradled in his fathers arms is pointing at his two siblings that are with his mother. It is hard to tell the gender of the children. The one sitting in the queens lap could be a daughter because of the headdress that she is wearing and the proportion of her body. Both the child that is in the father's arms and the child that is on the queens right shoulder could be males.  One other thing to point out is that the children that are with the queen are pointing with their right hand and the child that is with his father is pointing with his left hand. Those kids are not wearing a headdress like the one that is sitting on the queens lap. If you look closely at the small child that is on the queens right shoulder you can make out his genital area that hangs down. Pharaoh Akhenaten and his queen are sitting across from each other. Their expressions tells the viewers that they are proud parents and they love their children. The queen appears to have a radiant smile on her face and Akhenaten's face looks more solemn. The queen looks round in proportion around the middle indicating that she could be pregnant again. Her husband is skinny but he does have a bit of a pouch around the stomach. His kilt on the left side sticks out a little. Akhenaten is wearing the double crown of the unified kingdom and the queens crown shows the same thing only there are differences such as the shape of the crown. Pharaoh's crown is oval shaped and the queens crown is triangular shaped. One other feature to take note of that is seen on both crowns is that two pieces of material are hanging down from the crowns. This material could be interpreted as being hair as well and the way that it is sticking out it appears to be blowing in the wind which could indicate that this scene is taking place outside. The royal family could be out on a balcony or the front pouch. Judging by the proportion of the platform that has the thrones there is probably a stairwell that leads up to them.

 The sun god, Ra is in the middle of the picture and his many arms are stretching in both directions indicating blessings towards Akhenaten and his queen. The symbol of ankh can be seen in the mist of the hands the indicates everlasting life and at the bottom of the sun. Two of Ra's hands are holding that symbol. One hand is extended towards Pharaoh and the other is extended towards his queen. The blessing that Ra is bestowing on the royal family is everlasting life. Hieroglyphics are shown in the background and it is a possibility that they tell the story that is taking place in the picture.  The majority of the hieroglyphics are on the queens side which tells that the story is mostly about her because she gave birth to three children and another one appears to be on the way.The sitting places of Akhenaten and his queen are different because Pharaohs has a design of a variety of shapes that include triangles and rectangles and the queen's throne has a picture of plants that grow beside the Nile. The cushions that they sit on are different as well because the queens cushion has a piece of cloth that hangs down. Another difference is shown with the foot cushions as well because the queens has a tassel hanging down and Akhenaten's cushion does not have one. On his side there is a piece of furniture that looks like a stand that has different shapes. Some of the shapes are rectangular and that others are oval shaped and they are stacked on top of one another. On the queens side there is a tall skinny stand that looks like a lamp stand that has sort of a half moon shape that is upside down and the top and the bottom of the stand look like they are tied together but that is the design that creates the illusion that the top and the bottom are tied together. The technique that is shown in this picture is sunken relief which was sometimes used. The original stones role serves as the background and gives the figures a three dimensional effect. The views can see that the figures appear to come out more then the background by the way they are carved.

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