Queen Nefertari, the royal wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II (reigned 1279–13 BCE), is linked to some of the most magnificent monuments of ancient Egypt. Appearing in sculpture and images, and identified in inscriptions on buildings associated with Ramesses II, she is also known through a complete temple consecrated to her in Abu Simbel, beside the one dedicated to her husband. Her tomb is the largest and most richly decorated in the Valley of the Queens. It was discovered in the early 20th century by a team of archaeologists led by Ernesto Schiaparelli, then director of the Museo Egizio in Turin.

The team’s discoveries and the role of Nefertari and other powerful women in ancient Egypt are brought to life through the 230 exceptional objects in this exhibition, drawn from the collection of the Museo Egizio. These include statues, jewelry, vases, papyrus, steles, wooden coffins, and stone sarcophagi, as well as tools and various items of daily life from the artisan village of Deir-el-Medina, home to those who created the royal tombs. These astonishing treasures showcase the legacy of the royal wives, sisters, daughters, and mothers of pharaohs, and sometimes even pharaohs themselves, as well as the female artists who contributed to the creation of these stunning objects.


Queen Nefertari’s Egypt is organized by the Museo Egizio, Turin, and StArt, in collaboration with the New Orleans Museum of Art. The presentation in New Orleans is made possible by the generous support of the Eugenie and Joseph Jones Family Foundation and the Consulate General of Italy in Houston.

Statue of Ramesses II Seated Between the Gods Amon and Mut

New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, Reign of Ramesses II (1213–1279 BCE)

Karnak, Temple of Amon

Granite

47 x 44 2⁄3 x 37 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

Monumental Statue of the Goddess Sekhmet

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, Reign of Amenhotep III (1390–1353 BCE)

Thebes

Granodiorite

99 2⁄3 x 24 x 2⁄3 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

Monumental Statue of the Goddess Sekhmet

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, Reign of Amenhotep III (1390–1353 BCE)

Thebes

Granodiorite

72 2⁄3 x 20 3⁄4 x 37 3⁄4 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

Monumental Statue of the Goddess Sekhmet (detail)

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, Reign of Amenhotep III (1390–1353 BCE)

Thebes

Granodiorite

72 2⁄3 x 20 3⁄4 x 37 3⁄4 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

Stela of Amennakht, Dedicated to the Western Mountain

New Kingdom, 19–20th Dynasty (1292–1076 BCE)

Probably from Deir el-Medina

Limestone

15 x 10 5⁄8 x 1 3⁄8 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

Stela of Nakhi, “Servant in the Place of Truth”, Offering to Osiris and Anubis

New Kingdom, late 18th Dynasty (c. 1300 BCE)

Probably from Deir el-Medina

Sandstone

39 1⁄3 x 24 3⁄4 x 6 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

Stela with a Hathoric Face

New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty (1292–1190 BCE)

Unknown provenance

Painted limestone

11 x 8 1⁄4 x 2 1⁄2 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

Block Statue of Keret

18th Dynasty, Reigns of Amenhotep II or Thutmosis IV (1390–1425 BCE)

Unknown provenance

Granodiorite

9 x 3 1⁄2 x 5 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

Statuette of a Dignitary Holding a Standard with the Head of the Goddess Hathor

New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty (1292–1190 BCE)

Unknown provenance

Painted limestone

10 2⁄3 x 3 1⁄2 x 3 1⁄2 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

Shabtis of Henuttaneb

New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty (1292–1213 BCE)

Deir el-Medina

Limestone

9 x 2 3⁄4 x 2 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

Lids of the Coffin of Neskhonsuennekhy

Third Intermediate Period/21st–24th Dynasty (1070–712 BCE)

Unknown provenance

Stuccoed and painted wood

73 2⁄3 x 7 3⁄4 x 17 1⁄3 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

One of Five Shabtis of Sethi I

New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, Reign of Sethi I (1290–1279 BCE)

Unknown provenance

Blue faience

4 1⁄2 x 3 3⁄4 x 2 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

One of Five Shabtis of Sethi I

New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, Reign of Sethi I (1290–1279 BCE)

Unknown provenance

Blue faience

4 1⁄2 x 3 3⁄4 x 2 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty (1550–1292 BCE)

Unknown provenance

Painted wood

12 x 14 x 14 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino

Statue with the Name of Thutmosis I

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, Reign of Thutmosis I (1493–1483 BCE)

Karnak, Temple of Amun

Granodiorite

70 3⁄4 x 21 1⁄2 x 43 1⁄3 inches

Museo Egizio, Torino