The Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (about 1345–1335 BC), shortly after becoming king of Egypt, broke with the religious and political tradition to focus worship on the sun as a creative force called the Aten.
Changing his name to Akhenaten, ‘He who is beneficial to the Aten’, the king built a new capital city called Akhetaten, ‘The horizon of the Aten’ (now known as Tell el-Amarna), where he lived with his queen, Nefertiti, and their six daughters, who all followed in the devotion of the sun.
The informal theme of palace life at Akhetaten is beautifully conveyed in the so-called ‘Princesses fresco’. This fragment of wall painting is the lower part of a scene depicting Akhenaten and Nefertiti relaxing with their daughters, two of which are sitting casually on floor cushions in the foreground (shown above).
The painting was applied to mud plaster on a brick wall. It was excavated by William Flinders Petrie in the 1890s.
You can see the fresco in the Ancient Egypt gallery.