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Queen Nefertari
Silver gelatin on glass
23.5 x 29.5 cm
Epigraphic Survey, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Queen Nefertari at Luxor Temple.
Nefertari was the chief consort of Ramesses II until her death around his regnal year 24, and she figures prominently alongside Ramesses II on many of his monuments. Ramesses dedicated to her the small temple of Abu Simbel in Nubia, the first cult of an Egyptian queen in Nubia since that which Amenhotep III established for his wife, Tiye, at Sedeinga. In this photograph, a diminutive Nefertari is depicted behind the leg of her colossal husband in the first court of Luxor Temple, tenderly touching his calf. A graffito in the same court suggests that at least one visitor considered the beautiful Nefertari to be at least as comely as the fabled Helen of Troy, for he carved and captioned a figure of Paris on a neighboring pillar next to her figure.

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