Gods for Modern Times: Set Picture

In Ancient Egyptian mythology, Set (also known as Sutekh or Seth) is the god not of evil, but of chaos and change and foreigners and storms. The ancient Egyptians were fond of none of these things (in this they are a lot like modern Americans): for much of their history they were isolationist and liked things "just so", so Set with his disturbing properties (ooh a pun) became the Bad Guy (he also does some Really Bad Things in several myths.) In the New Kingdom (think Ramesses in "The Ten Commandments") the Egyptians became expansionist in response to the foreign invasions that had characterised the Second Intermediate Period. Suddenly Set became a Good Guy, hence pharaohs with names like "Seti."

No one knows what sort of animal represents Set. In his fully animal form, he sports not only the strange squared ears but a long bifurcated tail. So no, friends, not an aardvark.

My Set reclines at his ease in his throne, wearing trousers, comfy shoes and what appears at first to be merely a handsome robe but with close examination reveals itself to be a robe of the Universe with its black holes and dark matter and swirling galaxies. In his hand he holds the Earth, which is truly on the cusp of change; he examines our world with a dispassionate eye as if deciding what he will do with it. Behind him the storm swirls on the left and is clearing on the right, symbolic of sudden change.

This painting is 22 X 30", executed on Bockingford cold press tinted watercolor paper in gouache and iridescent/metallic watercolors. Trivia note: I knew I wanted him to be sitting in profile, and when I went looking for reference material I ended up with the Lincoln Memorial. Go figure.
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