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Meditation on some Egyptian Deities

2008, acrylic and eucalyptus sap on canvas, group 49 x 60, by Jenny Badger Sultan;

Four paintings of Egyptian gods: Eyes of Horus at top, Ramesses and Isis on left, Ma'at and Ptah on right, Nekhbet and Wadjyt at bottom. Click to enlarge

In 2008 I took a trip to Egypt, fulfilling a lifetime dream. I had thought about Ancient Egypt and felt very close to its art and imagery from the time I was a child. Many Egyptian references had cropped up in my paintings over the years. Now I was able to see the temples and tombs, spend time in them, draw and paint on the spot.

Eyes of Horus, 16 x 60"?

The top panel shows the Udjat Eyes, or Eyes of Horus. Originally this was part of a protective band that I painted with the eyes of Buddha and the eyes of Horus. I painted these as a protective amulet on a band of canvas that I placed on our eucalyptus tree after people had harmed it. Over time the eucalyptus sap flowed over it and colored it a dark red-brown.

While the tree was not hurt again, someone did steal the eyes off it! I was angry, sad, incredulous. I put up a small sign on canvas saying I would like to have the protective band back. Three days later, returning home at night, I found the band under my garden gate. I was very happy and put it back on the tree with a thank you. I put up a new piece of linen and waited for the rains to come and wash the color down.

Ramesses III and Isis, 24 x 30

"Ramesses III and Isis" and "Maat and Ptah" were based on prismacolor drawings I did in the tombs. I was drawn to these representations because I was touched by the relationships they showed. Isis is a goddess of great and magical powers who is symbolically the divine mother of the pharaoh. Here Isis and the Pharaoh Ramesses are greeting each other and holding hands.

Ma'at and Ptah, 24 x 30

Maat is the goddess of truth and embodies the ordered structure of the universe. She is enfolding Ptah in a protective embrace with her wings. Ptah is the immortal creator god.

Nekhbet and Wadjyt, the Two Ladies, 49 x 18

I painted "Nekhbet and Wadjyt--the Two Ladies" to clarify for myself the attributes of these two goddesses who protect the pharaoh and legitimize his power.


Eyes of Horus Ramesses III and Isis; click to enlarge Ma'at and Ptah; click to enlarge Nekhbet and Wadjyt; click to enlarge
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