New England: The Amarna Princesses: Their Representations and Their Religious Role Within Atenism

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Presented by: Courtney Marx

  • 6:00 PM ETNew England
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Lecture Information

Traditional ancient Egyptian artistic guidelines went through drastic changes under Akhenaten due to the radical solar philosophy and religious reforms of the Amarna period. Despite the Amarna period often being recognized for its distinctive artistic style, art from the period incorporated previously established artistic vocabulary. This unique artistic style is evident in the representations of the Amarna princesses and in scenes of the royal family. Before the reign of Akhenaten, the representation of royal children was uncommon, but it became prevalent during the Amarna period. However, changes to the representations of royal daughters had begun prior to Akhenaten’s reign, most notably during the reigns of Hatshepsut and Amunhotep III. My presentation will explore how Akhenaten’s use of previously established artistic vocabulary was applied to the depictions of his daughters in processional imagery, scenes of the royal family, and images of individual princesses. I will review and compare images of princesses from the early and mid-New Kingdom, both before and after Akhenaten’s reign, to situate the Amarna period in its New Kingdom artistic context. I will also examine the artistic influences that culminated in the unique representations of Akhenaten’s daughters.

Speaker Bio

Courtney Marx began working with the American Research Center in Egypt as Administrative and Board Associate in 2019. Courtney earned her B.A. in Art History from George Mason University in 2017. In 2018, she began the Art History Graduate Association at George Mason and was elected its first president. She earned her M.A. in Art History with a focus on ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology from George Mason in 2020 and was chosen as the Art History department’s Outstanding Graduate Student honoree. Her thesis on the artistic representations of the Amarna Princesses won the department’s Outstanding Graduate Research Project in Art History award. While earning her degrees, Courtney was a field student at the Sanisera Archaeology Institute in Spain, and she was a curatorial intern at the Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art. She plans to continue her education by earning her Ph.D. in Egyptology in the future.