Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty (1379–1362 BCE), he came to the throne as Amenhotep IV and married Nefertiti. After six years of ruling, he introduced the monotheistic solar cult of Aten, the Sun disc, to Egypt, with the king as sole intermediary. He changed his name to Akhenaten meaning “living spirit of Aten”. The capital of Egypt was moved from Thebes to his newly built city of Akhetaten (now Tell el‐Amarna). Seen as heretical, his religion was quickly abandoned under the reign of his son-in-law, Tutankhamen.
In addition to changing the capitol of Egypt and the main religion (a move that may have been due to the extraordinary power the priests of Amun Ray were gaining), Akhenaten was also known for changing the artwork of his kingdom. Heavily stylized, Akhenaten is often shown with long features, a pot-belly, breasts and large hips. It was originally believed he suffered from Marfan’s Syndrome, but recent tests on Tutankhamen’s mummy reveal that this was not the case (as it would have been present in his son-in-law’s genetics). Rather, it is accepted by most Egyptologists as strictly stylistic and perhaps religiously symbolic.