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Erebus-art's avatar

Ra - Sun God

"Ra, Egyptian God of Sun, originator of the Ennead, consisting of Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Osiris, Set, Isis and Nephthys.
Supreme creator of life."

This is a reworking of one of my old paintings.
I tweaked the composition and added a little more symbols of his heritage.
When I created the old piece, I wanted to make it very "bright", since he is the God of Sun, and this time I tried to show-off all the power of the Sun, while keeping the original design of the dress and his colors.

You can see the old piece here, tell me what you think about the new design:


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doolhoofd's avatar
If religion is the thesis and science is the antithesis, what is the synthesis?
"By measuring the number and luminosity of observable galaxies in the known universe, astronomers put current estimates of the total stellar population at roughly seventy billion trillion."
- Maria Temming, How Many Stars Are There in the Universe?

Eustace: "In our world, a star is a huge ball of flaming gas."
Ramandu: "Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of."
- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, chapter XIV

"The sun? Conscious? How?" 'In a way lower organisms like you have difficulty to grasp. One thought from the source takes longer than a human life. A conversation with other stars takes thousands of your years.' "All the stars are conscious?" A dry laughter resounded. 'Of course. They are the original inhabitants of the cosmos. Without them there would be no organic life, let alone organic consciousness.'
- Elian Lazaro, Elysium

"The proposition is that Sun is a living, conscious being with an intelligence that dwarfs our own. I am not only suggesting that Sun is a large complex system with some form of self-governing intelligence to it, but also that it is a living being, aware of itself and its place in the universe; that it is fully conscious and communicates with other conscious beings at its own level, and other levels; that its consciousness is so far beyond what we enjoy that it could be accorded deity status of a high order, and be recognized as a conscious being by atheists and agnostics, whatever spin they put on it.
As staggering as this proposition might seem, it is hardly novel, and was once held as a near universal belief or understanding in most parts of the globe. It is possible that generations of Neolithic peoples, the ancient Sumerians, Chaldeans, and Assyrians, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Maya, Inca, Aztec, and the ancient Celts and Native Americans were not completely deluded. Perhaps they were right to regard Sun as a living celestial being, rather than view the prime enabler of life-on-Earth as just another random event in the infinity of space, deserving neither credit nor appreciation. We can add the world's 750 million Hindus to the list above, as well as followers of Shinto, the native Japanese religion revering Sun goddess Amaterasu."
- Gregory Sams, Sun of gOd

"The sun alone appears, by virtue of his dignity and power, suited for the duty of moving the planets, and worthy to become the home of God himself."
- Johannes Kepler, The Harmony of the World

"Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God."
- Michael Shermer's last law

"The Sun is God."
- Joseph Mallord William Turner…

Erebus-art's avatar
Wow, great comment with a lot of interesting citations!
I often ponder on the way that religion, science and philosophy diverged in our culture, while in others they followed more parallel (and sometime touching) paths...
it's one of the (many) things that "divide" people in our modern society, things which should be meat for thought and instead have become just matters for disagreeing veemently... but I think this is the default way of "discussing" things today for many
doolhoofd's avatar
Yes, you're right about that. Well said.
AntiochIV's avatar
I want this skin in Smite) Nice
Erebus-art's avatar
Thanks, ask the developers, I would gladly give them the skin :D
killerninja123's avatar
Wow, this is really good! I love how you did the lighting on the sun. Just one question, what is the staff Ra was holding called?
Erebus-art's avatar
Thanks for your appreciation!
The staff is a "Was" scepter, a symbol of power and dominion for the ancient egyptians, usually associated with Gods and Pharaohs.
Since Ra was one of the main Gods of egyptian pantheon, he is often depicted carrying a Was Scepter, an Ankh (symbol of life) and sometime a Djed (pillar of life).

By searching "Was-scepter" you can find even more interesting informations on the subject. :)
killerninja123's avatar
Thank you for the info! It was really helpful. Also I've been researching about Ra and I'm a little confuse. Is Ra associated with falcons or hawks? Cause a lot of people always get Horus and Ra mix up because of their similar bird faces.
Erebus-art's avatar
Hello, it's an interesting question but with a complicated answer.
Ancient Egypt had a LONG history, beginning even before the few records that we have. We know almost for sure that there was a division between upper and lower egypt tribes, with different kings/governments and religions, that were later unified.

For this reason the religions of those different cultures merged and mingled in various ways, and so Gods were merged with other Gods, stories mixed, and this happened for thousand of years.

Talking specifically about Ra, he was the God of Sun and chief (or father, depending) of the other Gods. Thus, when Horus became prominent in the Egyptian pantheon, it took some of the "attributes" of Ra, and vice-versa. So Ra became Ra-Horakhty ("Ra-Horus of the Horizon")and got a falcon head, but also became the completely human Amon-Ra when he mixed with the cult of the God Amon (chief of Gods for a long period of egyptian history). He also got mixed with Atum, God of Sun, and became Atum-Ra.
Probably, all these Gods represented the same universal principles (Sun, Sky, light, dominance, dinasty, continuity, etc.), thus they were easily merged.

As of what was the aspect of the "original" Ra, we can't know for sure :)
blindwillow's avatar
I love the color choices in this image. I think I preferred the composition of the original, though, it was more evocative of Ancient Egypt, with the architectural and hieroglyphic elements. It feels here like there's too much empty space. I do love the element in this one of the sun's crowning glory and the golden serpent, I have to say. Very nice touch. +fav regardless. :)
Erebus-art's avatar
after finishing the piece I too have the same sensations, the original one had something that makes it still interesting. In redoing the piece some years ago I concentrated on technique and general realism because of a stylistic choice, but the composition suffered a bit.

Often, the less you think a piece the better it comes out (if you have basic understanding of what you are doing of course).
It's like zen :D
Lara0XM's avatar
I like this version more than the original. It gives a stronger impression of Ra as the God of the Sun since it doesn't seem as heavy.
Woflhowl's avatar
The drawing is nicely detailed, and the style of drawing matches perfectly with the atmosphere, but something is missing: If the Eye or Ra was there, and Ra was stroking it, everything would be on ten. :D
Erebus-art's avatar
Eh eh I put the eye of Ra on his eye :P

There were already much elements and didn't wanted to "overdue" it ^_^
Woflhowl's avatar
Do you know what is the Eye or Ra? :XD:
Erebus-art's avatar
If I don't go wrong, it's the feminine manifestation of the power of Ra, that was called "The Eye of Ra", and was symbolized by his "Solar Disc". This one you can see both on his head, with the cobra passing in it and symbolizing his power, and in the Sun above his head.
Often the "eye of Horus", wich is the symbol I put on his face around his eye, was also called "the Eye of Ra", and it also symbolized the Goddesses and feminine counterparts of Horus and Ra.

From what I know, the myths mixed and interwined in the millennia, and now they are not so clear in several points.
So I usually assume that Ra, as the "Father" and "Creator", assumes on him all the symbols of the divinity.

If you know more, you are wellcome to tell me, I'm always curious about knowledge! :)
Woflhowl's avatar
I am 13 so I am not a historical genius, nor my english on a very high level, but when Ra grew old (yes, a god to grow old), the other gods began laughing at him for his weakness. He was so angry, that he released the power of The eye of Ra:
a fierce gigantic feminine lion was released upon Egypt, killing hundreds of men and filling whole rivers with their blood. I do not remember how, but the egyptians were able to make the lion fall asleep. I think they made it drink human blood or something like that. But anyway, the gods were afraid to look at Ra in the eyes, so they don't get hurt. ^^
Erebus-art's avatar
Yes, you refer to Sekhmet, the lioness, daughter of Ra wich he released on the earth to unleash destruction on the humankind. Is a myth similar to the biblical diluge.
The mans made her drink wine and she felt asleep. In Egypt the priests of Sekhmet got heavily drunk to remember that happening :D

Her symbols are the lion, the solar disc like Ra, and the ureus (the cobra crown).
I will paint her too sooner or later.
I'm always fascinated by strong feminine figures in history and myths, but I've little experience in female figure drawing, so I don't have done nothing serious for now.
Woflhowl's avatar
Yes indeed, it's Sekhmet! :D And it was wine indeed, now I remember. :D
GulJarol's avatar
This is absolutely fantastic! I love the concept and the detail work :clap:
Erebus-art's avatar
Thanks for the comment :)
NDLevett's avatar
Cool, especially the idea with a snake...
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