The Amarna period relates specifically to the second half of the 18th Dynasty and the reign of Tutankhamen’s father, Akhenaten, who altered the polytheistic Ancient Egyptian religion. The period saw the first development of monotheistic religion, in which the sun god Aten was worshipped above the other Egyptian gods. The transformative nature of these rituals is reflected in the art of the Egyptian period. The art is often interpreted as realism, with depictions of people dressed finely often surrounded by religious iconography.
Faience is a glazed ceramic known for producing bright colours, especially blues, turquoises and greens. It is produced from quartz or sand crystals mixed with other compounds, finished with a vitreous alkaline glaze to the surface. Faience glimmers in the light and was believed by the Egyptians to represent rebirth and immortality. During the Predynastic period only green and blue faience occurred, however from the Old Kingdom and onwards alternative colours such as black, yellow and red were added to the palette. The colours had different symbolisms for example, blue was thought to reflect fertility and life. Faience was manufactured into amulets and jewellery, the substance was used to create scarabs, furniture and cups.
To find out more about Egyptian faience please see our relevant blog post: What is Egyptian Faience?