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Egyptian Hand Painted Papyrus

 
The following Egyptian art is made from genuine Egyptian papyrus and hand painted a unique Egyptian design. All papyrus paintings can be purchased in the Egyptian Dreams shop and are of the highest quality. Click on an image to visit the shop.

Hand painted papyrus of Amentet, Re-Horakhty, Horus and Hathor
Hand Painted Papyrus of Amentet, Re-Horakhty, Horus and Hathor

Amentet is the goddess with the bird on her crown, which stands for the West and so makes her the goddess of the West. Re-Horakhty is known for his huge sun disk crown. He’s wearing the bull’s tail of strength and holding the 'was' scepter of power. On their thrones is a picture of the Sema-tawy (2 lungs and trachea) with a lotus (Upper Egypt) and papyrus (Lower Egypt) tied around it. This means ‘Union of the 2 lands’, which can be seen on the thrones of most Kings. To the right of them is Horus, wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, as he is the protector of the reigning King.


Hand painted papyrus of Anubis
Hand Painted Papyrus of Anubis

The god of embalming and cemeteries, Anubis is usually depicted as a jackal or a man with the head of a jackal. Since jackals were common scavengers in Egyptian burial sites, the honouring of Anubis in this guise may have represented a way of protecting the dead from molestation. Anubis was an ancient deity to whom prayers for the survival of the deceased in the Afterlife were addressed before Osiris rose to prominence as the god of the dead. Anubis continued to assist in the judgement of the dead and accompanied the deceased to the throne of Osiris for the ritual of the Weighing of the Heart.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Bastet
Hand Painted Papyrus of Bastet

Bastet, the cat goddess, was worshipped in the ancient city of Per-Bastet (Bubastis). Although Bastet was a local deity, she was of great importance to the kings of Egypt. Cat-like, she had both gentle and fierce aspects to her nature. To the ancient Egyptians, the cat epitomized the protective aspects of motherhood, so Bastet was honoured as one of the mothers of kings.

Hand Painted Papyrus of Hathor's Blessing
Hand Painted Papyrus of Hathor's Blessing

From the wall of a temple at Dendra, which lies about 60km north of Luxor, this scene shows Hathor suckling Nectanebo II, the last of the Egyptian pharaohs, while Thoth and Seshat, dieties of writing, record the years of his life.

Hand Painted Papyrus of Egyptian Queens
Hand Painted Papyrus of Egyptian Queens

This papyrus shows Nefertari, Hatshepsut and Cleopatra.

Hand Painted Papyrus of Egyptian Goddesses
Hand Painted Papyrus of Egyptian Goddesses

This beautifully decorated design of Egyptian goddesses is actually two scenes in one.

On the right we can see the goddess Isis seated on her throne. Isis was the sister-wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus, who represents the reigning King. She holds the 'was' scepter of power and is pointing an ankh (key of life) at the goddess Hathor. Hathor was the goddess of love, joy and music. She’s holding a sistrum, a rattle-like musical instrument. She’s also giving lotus flowers to Isis, which stands for rebirth and regeneration.

In the other scene again we see Isis and Hathor but they are larger and are shown holding hands. Here Isis (on the right) is wearing the menet necklace, symbol of the goddess Maat, it stands for balance and order. While on the far left a goddess follows them bringing beautiful, fragrant lotus flowers.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Gods and Goddesses
Hand Painted Papyrus of Gods and Goddesses

This beautifully detailed array of Egyptian gods and goddess has a wonderful range of scenes going on all at once.

In the center is the King holding the crook and flail and wearing a bull’s tail. Horus and Anubis are adorning him. Horus, on the right, is wearing the double crown of Kingship and is the protector of the reigning King. Anubis, on the left, is related to death and mummification, and so he ensures one for the afterlife.

The two figures on the left of the papyrus are Sobek and Hathor. Hathor, the female goddess of love and music, is offering Sobek the menet necklace. This is a necklace that balanced in the front and back and so stood for the Ma’at, goddess of order, balance and justice. Sobek, the crocodile god, was connected with the sun god Re.

On the far right the two figures are Anuket and Isis. Anuket, seated on the throne, is the goddess of Aswan and the daughter of Re, the sun god. Isis is adorning her with lotus flowers, which symbolize resurrection and rebirth. She’s also holding a sistrum, a musical instrument that you shake like a rattle.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Horus and Nefertari
Hand Painted Papyrus of Horus and Nefertari

The son of Osiris and Isis, Horus was a god of the sky and is usually depicted as a falcon, or a man with a falcon's head wearing the crown of all Egypt. Horus's name means 'He Who is Above' and is probably linked to his status as a god of the sky and to the high soaring of the falcon. He is probably most well-known as the protector of the ruler of Egypt. After Osiris was murdered by his brother Seth, Horus fought with Seth for the throne of Egypt. In this battle, Horus lost one of his eyes. The eye was restored to him and it became a symbol of protection for the ancient Egyptians. After this battle, Horus was chosen to be the ruler of the world of the living.

Nefertari was the favourite wife of Ramesses II, the first of eight that he married during his long reign of 67 years. Nefertari seems to have belonged to a high-ranking family but was not herself royal. It is thought she originated from Thebes as she is always called 'Beloved of Mut', Mut being an important goddess in the Theban area. Although given the title 'Mother of the King' and had several sons, they all seem to have died before their father.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Isis and Nefertari
Hand Painted Papyrus of Isis and Nefertari

Isis was a winged goddess who represented all that was visible, birth, growth, development and vigour. Having wings, she was a wind goddess. The kite was sacred to her, and she could transform herself into this bird at will. She brought the heavenly scent with her through the land, leaving lingering scenes of spices and flowers her wake. She brought fresh air with her into the underworld when she gave food to the dead. She represented both the life-giving spring winds of Egypt and the morning winds that hailed the arrival of the sun each day.

The ancient Egyptians saw Isis as a benevolent goddess, good and kind. Each pharaoh was her son and Isis loved all creatures like a mother. She was the chaste and devoted wife and as a result most highly regarded among the Egyptian gods. Isis was the daughter of Nut and Geb and the sister and wife of Osiris. Isis aided her husband during his reign as the king of Egypt and searched madly for his body after his death so that he might be given a proper burial. Isis conceived her son Horus either through magic or by resurrecting Osiris. Isis raised Horus in the papyri and lotus thickets of Chemmis, in the delta area of Lower Egypt to protect the child from his uncle Seth. Seth wanted to murder Horus, but Isis hid the child so that some day he might avenge his father’s death.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Isis, Ma'at, Horus and Hathor
Hand Painted Papyrus of Isis, Ma'at, Horus and Hathor

This beautiful array of Egyptian gods and goddess shows Isis, Ma’at, Horus and Hathor.

Seated at the center is Isis with a horned crown as well as the vulture headdress. Isis is known for her virtues as mother, wife, protector and magician. She is holding the 'was' scepter of power and is pointing the ankh (key of life) sign at the goddess Ma’at, who is to her left. Ma’at is the goddess of truth, justice and order and is spreading her wings in protection to Isis. To the right is the god Horus who is wearing the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt and is the protector of the reigning King. To the left of them is the goddess Hathor, who is the divine mother of the reigning King, and goddess of sexuality, joy and music.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Kings and Gods
Hand Painted Papyrus of Kings and Gods

This beautifully detailed and coloured scene shows the relationship between the King and the gods.

The two figures on the left are the King and the goddess Hathor. Hathor is depicted with cow horns for a crown and is holding the 'was' sceptre of power. She is the divine mother of the reigning King and goddess of sexuality, joy and music. On the right the King offers ‘nu’ jars to Horus. These would either hold wine or milk. Horus is wearing the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt since he is the protector of the reigning King. The King and Horus are both wearing the bull’s tail of strength. They are surrounded by a gorgeous array of Hieroglyphic text.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Maat and Isis
Hand Painted Papyrus of Maat and Isis

Ma'at, goddess of truth & justice, kneels before the great mother goddess Isis, and spreads out her wings to protect the cartouche containing the name of Queen Nefertari, favorite wife of Ramesses II.

Hand Painted Papyrus of Nefertiti
Hand Painted Papyrus of Nefertiti

Famed throughout the ancient world for her outstanding beauty, queen Nefertiti remains one of the most well known of the queens of Egypt. Nefertiti was the Wife of Akhenaten during the Eighteenth Dynasty. She bore Akhenaten 6 daughters and no sons, and shared a near co-rulership with the king. Fifteen years after her appointment to the position of Queen of Memphis, Nefertiti mysteriously disappeared. Egyptologists have assumed that this was either due to banishment or her death. However, little evidence suggests that she actually died. Similarly, speculation exists as to whether she was the obscure pharaoh Nefernefuaten.

The available evidence suggests that she was not an Egyptian, a striking departure, for the Egyptian Royal House which, to keep the line pure and to follow the example of Isis and Osiris, usually married the princes and the princesses to each other.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Re-Horakhty

Hand Painted Papyrus of an Offering to Re-Horakhty

Ramesses II makes an offering of two nu-pots to Re-Horakhty.

Nu-pots were small round vessels which, when inverted, were likened to the bowl of the sky, Nut.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Osiris, the goddess Isis and the goddess Hathor.
Hand Painted Papyrus of Offering to Osiris, the goddess Isis and the goddess Hathor

Ramesses II with his favoutite wife, queen Nefertari, make an offering to the god Osiris, the goddess Isis and the goddess Hathor.

Hand Painted Papyrus of Re-Horakhty

Hand Painted Papyrus of Offerings to Re-Horakhty

Pharaoh Ramesses II and his wife, Queen Nefertari, make offerings to the Egyptian god Re-Horakhty.

Re-Horakhty is one of the forms of Re, the sun god, and is identified as a god with a human body and falcon head who wears a crown in the form of a sun disc surrounded by a cobra, or a crown made from ram horns and ostrich feathers.

To the ancient Egyptians, before the world appeared, only a dark, watery, void defined by eight gods and goddesses existed. Then Re, the sun god, rose out of this primordial water and established land. He gave birth to the god Shu and the goddesses Tefnet and Maat, and his tears became mankind. Thus divine cosmic order came into being.

Re had several aspects: Khepri, the morning; Horakhty, the midday; and Atum, the afternoon.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Osiris and five goddesses
Hand Painted Papyrus of Osiris and Five Goddesses

Osiris is shown here with five goddesses, including his sister/sister-in-law, Nephthys.

Brother of Nephthys and Seth, and the brother and husband of Isis. Osiris was usually depicted in human form wrapped up as a mummy, holding a crook and flail. He was often depicted with green skin, alluding to his role as a god of vegetation. He wore a crown known as the 'atef', composed of the tall conical white crown of Upper Egypt with red plumes on each side.

He was killed by his rival and brother, Seth. At a banquet of the gods, Seth fooled Osiris into stepping into a coffin, which he promptly slammed shut and cast into the Nile. Osiris was never seen again, walking in the land of the living.

The coffin was born by the Nile to the delta town of Byblos, where it became enclosed in a tamarisk tree. Isis, the wife of Osiris, discovered the coffin and brought it back home to guard. Isis gave birth to Horus after his death, having impregnated herself with semen from his corpse.

Taking advantage of Isis's absence from her vigil one day, Seth cut the body to pieces and cast them into the Nile. Isis searched the land for the body parts of Osiris, and was eventually able to piece together his body, whole save for the penis, which had been swallowed by a crocodile or a fish. Isis replaced the penis with a reasonable facsimile, and she was often portrayed in the form of a kite being impregnated by the ithyphallic corpse of Osiris.

Osiris became the great god of the underworld. He was associated with funerary rituals, at first only with those of the Egyptian monarch, later with those of the populace in general. The pharaoh was believed to become Osiris after his death. Although he was regarded as a guarantor of continued existence in the afterlife, Osiris also had a darker, demonic aspect associated with the physiological processes of death and decay, and reflecting the fear Egyptians had of death in spite of their belief in an afterlife. Osiris was also a judge of the dead, referred to as the 'lord of Maat'.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Queen Hatshepsut
Hand Painted Papyrus of Queen Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut was the female pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. For a woman to rule Egypt for over 20 years was extremely unusual.

She was the daughter of Tuthmosis I and was married to her half-brother, Tuthmosis II. On his untimely death, his heir was his son by a secondary wife, but as the young Tuthmosis III was still a child, Hatshepsut became regent and ruled on his behalf for about seven years, before proclaiming herself king and ruling jointly with him for a further 14 years.

Although she was a woman, she projected her official image as that of a pharaoh and even wore the royal false beard.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Ramesses III, Horus and Thoth
Hand Painted Papyrus of Ramesses III, Horus and Thoth
This beautiful symmetric scene shows Ramesses III in the centre with Horus (right) and Thoth (left) pouring the signs of life (ankh-key of life) and power (was) over him. The Pharaoh is dressed in the full regalia of Kingship, the nemes headdress and the bull’s tail which stood for power. Horus is the falcon headed god, who was the protector of Kingship. Thoth, the ibis headed god was the god of knowledge.

Hand Painted Papyrus of Re-Horakhty and Amentet
Hand Painted Papyrus of Re-Horakhty and Amentet

Amentet was the Egyptian goddess and friend of the dead, and the personification of the Land of the West, 'Amenti'. It was she who welcomed the deceased to their new dwelling place in the netherworld. She was also a goddess who helped with the rebirthing process, and thus a goddess of fertility and rebirth, who regenerated the deceased with food and water.

She was depicted as a beautiful woman as wearing the standard of the west on her head, carrying a scepter and the ankh of life in her hands. She is occasionally seen as a winged goddess, when linked to the goddesses Isis and Nephthys. The standard of the west is usually a half circle sitting on top of two poles of uneven length, the longer of which is tied to her head by a headband. Often a hawk or an ostrich feather is seen sitting on top of the standard. Occasionally, she is shown wearing just the hawk on her head.

She was believed to live in a tree at the edge of the desert, a place where she could watch the gates to the underworld. She was often shown not only in tombs, but on coffins, being a goddess of the dead.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Seti I and Hathor

Hand Painted Papyrus of Seti I and Hathor

King Seti I in front of one of the Priests sings rituals, and behind him stands Goddess Hathor, holding a mace and staff.

Seti I was the son of Ramesses I and Queen Sitre. Like his father before him, Seti was a good military leader. He plundered Palestine and brought Damascus back into Egyptian control. He reconciled with the Hittites who were becoming the most powerful state in the region. Seti I and his heir, Ramesses II campaigned against Kadesh. In Karnak he completed his father's plan by converting the court between the second and third pylons into a vast hypostyle hall. He built his vast mortuary complex at Abydos. In Thebes, he built his tomb, located in the Valley of the Kings. Cut 300 feet into the cliffs, it was the largest tomb in the area. Buried with him were over 700 Shabti. These were carved stone or wooden figures that were to accompany him to the afterlife to comply with the requests from the gods.

Hathor was the goddess of joy, motherhood, and love. She was also the goddess of music and dancing. Dead women were identified with Hathor, as men were identified with Osiris. Hathor is usually depicted entirely as a cow or as a beautiful, slender woman wearing a head-dress of a pair of cow's horns with a sun disc between them. Hathor was thought of as the mother of the pharaoh.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Seti I, Osiris and Horus
Hand Painted Papyrus of Seti I, Osiris and Horus

God of the dead and the Afterlife, as well as rebirth and fertility, Osiris was usually represented in a mummified anthropomorphc form, often holding a crook and flail, and with the atef-crown on his head.

Hand Painted Papyrus of the Great Sphinx at Giza
Hand Painted Papyrus of the Great Sphinx at Giza

About 350 meters from Cheops's pyramid stands the Great Sphinx, known in Arabic as Abu el-hol, which means "Father of terror". With the body of a lion and the head of a king, the Great Sphinx at Giza was believed to have been built in 2500 BC. However there is evidence of rain-induced weathering. If the weathering is indeed caused by rain, it would mean that the Sphinx has been in existence since North Africa had a wet climate - more than 12,000 years ago! Most Egyptologists regard the Sphinx as a portrait of the king Khafre, carved from an outcrop of rock that remained after the quarrying of limestone for the interior of the Great Pyramid. The Great Sphinx measures 66 feet high and over 240 feet long. The face of the Sphinx rises 13 feet with the eyes being 6 feet high. Part of the nose and beard are now missing, but the beard can still be seen in the British Museum.

Hand Painted Papyrus of Tutankhamun
Hand Painted Papyrus of Tutankhamun
King Nebkheperura Tutankhamun is probably the most famous of all the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, yet he was a short lived and fairly insignificant ruler during a transitional period in history.

Little was known of him prior to Howard Carter's methodical detective work, but the discovery of his tomb and the amazing contents it held ultimately ensured this boy king of the Immortality he sought.

It is believed that Akhenaten and a lesser wife named Kiya were the parents of Tutankhaten, as Tutankhamun was known at first.

Soon after the deaths of Akhenaten and Smenkhkare, Tutankhaten became a Boy King at the age of about nine. He married a slightly older Ankhesenpaaten, one of the daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

After the ousting of the Aten power base they changed their names to Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun to reflect the return to favour of the Amun hierarchy.

Due to his young age, Tutankhamun would not have been responsible for the real decision making. This would have been handled by two high officials, Ay (possibly the father of Nefertiti) and Horemheb, commander-in-chief of the army.

Sometime around the ninth year of Tutankhamun's reign, possibly 1325 B.C., he died. There is evidence of an injury to the skull that had time to partly heal. He may have suffered an accident, such as falling from his horse-drawn chariot, or perhaps he was murdered. No one knows. Ay oversaw Tutankhamun's burial arrangements which lasted 70 days.

Due to Tutankhamun having no heirs, Ay became Pharaoh and took Ankhesenamun as his queen to legitimise his rule. What happened to her after that is not known. Ay ruled for only four years and after his death Horemheb grabbed power. He soon obliterated evidence of the reigns of Akhenaten, Tutankhamun and Ay and substituted his own name on many monuments.


Hand Painted Papyrus of the Weighing of the heart ceremony
Hand Painted Papyrus of the Weighing of the heart ceremony

The ancient Egyptians believed that, when they died, they would be judged on their behaviour during their lifetime before they could be granted a place in the Afterlife. This judgement ceremony was called the Weighing of the Heart.

A giant scale would weigh the deceased's heart against the principle of truth and justice (maat), represented by a feather, the symbol of the goddess of truth, order and justice, Maat. If the heart balanced against the feather then the deceased would be granted a place in the Fields of Hetep and Iaru. If it was heavy with the weight of wrongdoings, the balance would sink, and the heart would be grabbed and devoured by a terrifying beast that sat ready and waiting by the scales. This beast was Ammit ('the gobbler'), a composite animal with the head of a crocodile, the front legs and body of a lion or leopard and the back legs of a hippopotamus. Once the heart was devoured, the deceased would cease to exist - an idea which terrified the ancient Egyptians.

On the far right is the image of the deceased as he bows to Thoth and Anubis, who will judge his fate.

Thoth is the Ibis headed god who recorded all the happenings, while Anubis, god of cemetaries and embalming, watched over.

On the far left is Re-Horakhty, a combination of Re (the Sun god) and Horus (the sky god). He’s seated as King, holding the crook and the flail and the 'was' scepter of power.


Hand Painted Papyrus of Winged Maat
Hand Painted Papyrus of Winged Maat

Ma'at was the personification of the fundamental order of the universe, without which all of creation would perish. The primary duty of the pharaoh was to uphold this order by maintaining the law and administering justice. To reflect this, many pharaohs took the title "Beloved of Maat," emphasizing their focus on justice and truth. At any event in which something would be judged, Ma'at was said to be present, and her name would be invoked so that the judge involved would rule correctly and impartially. Ma'at's presence in all worlds was universal, and all the gods deferred to her.

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