I am in the middle of writing my book on art, there is a subtle point about the innate humanism in the nude being felt, sensed, or seen through the clothes. There is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth the First, she is a card-board figure, probably a wooded prop was used to drape the magnificent clothes over. In contrast to Queen Nefertiti that posed nude for Thutmose as a reference to use in official portraits. QE wanted to make sure her person was not involved at all and the symbols of power were used to command her subjects. The symbols and lack of humanity psychologically protect her and her henchmen from acknowledging that everyone is flesh and blood underneath, they are human, with human consequences. Nefertiti’s and Akhenaten’s humanist movement only lasted 17 years, their humanism coming through in their real-life character’s through in the art of Thutmose. While this QE portrait sums up ruthless power over subjects.
Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 6/2/2020