Who is Akhenaton? How and why does Egyptian art change during the Amarna period?
Akhenaton , abandoned the worship of most of the Egyptian gods in favor of Aton, identiﬁed with the sun disk, whom the pharaoh declared to be the universal and only god. Akhenaton deleted the name of Amen from all inscriptions and even from his own name and that of his father,
pharaonic portraits. But the eﬀeminate body, with its curving contours, and the long face with full lips and heavy-lidded eyes are a far cry indeed from the heroically proportionedﬁgures ofthe pharaoh’s predecessors (compareFIG .3-12 ). Akhenaton’s body is curiously misshapen, with weak arms, a narrow waist, protruding belly, wide hips, and fatty thighs. Modern physician shave tried to explain his physique by attributing a variety of illnesses to the pharaoh. cannot agree on a diagnosis, and their premise—that the statue is an ac- curate depiction of a physical deformitys probably faulty. Some art historians think Akhenaton’s portrait is a deliberate artistic reaction against the established style, paralleling the suppression of traditional religion. Akhenaton’s artists tried to formulate a new androgynous image of the pharaoh as the manifestation of Aton, the sexless sun disk. But no consensus exists other than that the style was revolutionary and short-lived