Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Book Review: Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh

Art Museum Journal (Stan Parchin)

With photos

Roehrig, Catherine H. with René Dreyfus and Cathleen A. Keller (eds.), et al.
Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh (exh. cat.).
New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2005.

Queens seldom played decisive roles in the known course of antiquity. A handful distinguished themselves, sometimes due to their notoriety. Only recently has the skillful scholarship of art historians and archaeologists allowed their personalities to emerge and take their rightful places in the historical record. Nefertiti (ca. 1352-1336 B.C.), the beguilingly beautiful consort of ancient Egypt's monotheistic "heretic pharaoh" Akhenaten, and the highly romanticized Cleopatra (r. 51-30 B.C.) number amongst these women. Not one distinguished herself for her accomplishments as did Hatshepsut. Indeed, in a time of relative peace and prosperity in Egypt, she fostered a cultural renaissance rarely seen in the ancient world.

Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh is the catalogue published in conjunction with the popular special exhibition at the M.H. de Young Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Kimbell Art Museum in 2005-06.

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