Bust of Nefertiti : Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
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As I entered the gallery where the Bust of Queen Nefertiti was displayed, my attention came to a complete focous on the work. The lifelike beauty radiating from this work of art has the ability to capture all attention in the room. I could only imagine that Queen Nefertiti had the same capability herself. The formal elements that contributed to the intensity of the art were color, shape, and pattern.
The bust features an array of colors covering the entire surface of the figure. A soft, brown color is used for the face and neck of the bust. This realistic color compliments the smooth surface, allowing it to appear to have skin. The lips are painted with a calm, red color giving her mouth a soft look to it as well. Her eyebrows and eyes are outlined with black, with the right eye missing paint in the center. The artist uses color to give Nefertiti lifelike quality from a bust of limestone and plaster. While the color of the skin is common, the color of the hair is not. The hair is painted with a rich blue color giving the bust a sense of power and beauty. This sense of power is reinforced with painted jewelery in the hair and around the neck. Shades of blue, green, red, and gold are all found within the jewelery. The majestic beauty of the bust is enhanced by the colors of which it is painted.
Nefertiti’s beauty may not have been conveyed as well if the bust was not representational of a real person. The shape overall and within the work is both organic and geometric. The face, neck, and sholders of the bust are rounded and true to the human form. This allows the bust to be easily recognizable as a person. The hair, while also smooth and round, ascends over the head in a widening cylinder shape, which is flat at the top. Her hair rests upon her head in a shape more common to a crown than actual hair. Overall, this gives the bust a look of royalty. Within the work itself, geometric shapes are painted in the jewelery. Rectangles, ovals, hearts, and squares are all shapes found in the jewelery.
It is also within the painted jewelery that we find another appealing element that captures the viewers eye. A number of patterns can be observed on this bust in both shape and color. Within the jewelery around the hair is a repetition of squares that has a rhythm in the use of color. The squares follow a rhythm of switching back and forth from red to green. The jewelery below the head has several different patterns that follow a curved line down the sholders and around the neck. The patterns here are like that of the pattern on the hair, following a repetition of the same shape. There is a repetition of ovals, squares, and even heart shaped symbols. The rhythm of these patterns vary in the use of color. Some using the same color throughout the pattern while others use two or three different colors. The patterns viewed as a whole give the bust a sense of organized structure.
The captivating presence of the Bust of Queen Nefertiti is owing to the beautiful colors, shapes, and patterns she possess. The viewer is able to tap into the desire to honor or worship such a figure, as the people of Nefertiti’s time would have done for her. This piece of work successfully celebrates the grandeur of Queen Nefertiti.