I don't know how my Vision of this work will agree with your own version. I've viewed your wonderful gallery, and, if I may say so, the position occupied by a number of females depicted is that of enslavement. BUT I don't see that here. In fact I see something quite different. This lovely lady, wearing only a neglige-like shawl, naked else, represents the powerful idea of MATRIARCHY that, though it was rare, especially I guess in the Mid-East where the scene is found, yet found its way even into that great Patriarchy of Egypt, when priests and female leaders of the temples of Isis, put forth the myth that Isis had usurped the Divine, Imperial Throne of Amen-Ra by trickery, and was now ruler of all the many gods and goddesses in heaven, the people and animals of Earth, and the plains of the Underworld where she already ruled as Queen of the Dead. So it was that these seers or prophets, and priestesses of Isis, based on piety to the new Queen of Heaven, Earth and the Underworld--even extending her power to Tatarus, the Egyptian -Greco-Roman Hell, forced themselves into supreme civil power in Thebes and Memphis, the capitals of Egypt, and arrested all boys and youths from 7-21 years old, forcing them into personal servitude and general slavery till their 21st birthday. It was not only women who took these boys into custody. Men were definitely involved, for reasons best known to themselves supported matriarchal government. Men were not treated as slaves. Probably the Old Pharaohnic society would not have succumbed to the rule of women. AS for Pharaoh and his family, he was honored but only a figurehead. Tradition in fact demanded the Pharaoh King of Egypt HAD ALWAYS to be a King; but it may have been during these times--surely preceding the Biblical eras, that there was in fact a ruling Queen, Hot-shep-sut, who may or may not have disguised herself as a man. Anyway, she is well thought of by historians.. . . . As far as Shelly's Ozymandias is concerned, where did he once hold sway? Persia-Iran? the future Babylon? Was he one of the rulers of Ancient Assyria, who called themselves Kings of kings"? I don't know. But the great stone statue this King erected to show off his glories and his victories and his self-asserted greatness may once have symbolized patriarchy at its height, and whenever kings, rulers or people gazed on this stone figure, massive, with its commanding writing--this is a double edged sword: so everything that other kings and rulers desired would be thwarted by great Ozymondias,and they were SUPPOSED to "look on his works and despair." But now? The kings and rulers see the heap of ruins in which the stone likeness lies, and, again, they must despair. Majestic Ozymodias was a man like any other; he dies and his son or someone from a rival noble family acceeded to the throne; It possibly didn't take long for newer governments to forget "the King of kings," and his statue was left to rot. Eventually it might have been that his kingdom, weakened by his death, even possible civil war ensuing, to or more noble houses trying to enthrone a man they said or hoped would be worthy to succeed such a monarch--the kingdom could have been conquered and subsumed into a greater power. So, Ozymondias is dead, he and his statue forgotten, maybe even his kingdom gone from his family and people: if such could happen to the works of so majestic a King, what will happen to "lesser" rulers or people who view his ruins? Despair. . . . The woman, the beautiful woman, resting on the fallen monarch's head to me presents the few matriarchies that sprang up, around the time of Isis' ascendency in Egypt: the central vision of the woman, practically in naked glory, is like that of a Queen who enthrones herself with the help of the priestesses, myth and high government officials: she sits in comfort, nonchalantly, casually, on the Throne held by this once great man: just as Isis was once fabled to rest on the Throne of Amen-Ra, whom a large number of the erudite priesthood asserted was God Himself, only He. So, I see this as the picture's vision: women over men in monarchy and political power, if only for a short time, as in Egypt, for 50-70 years.. . . .
I see originality and impact as a united concept. I have not seen any representation, silent, but powerfully metaphorical, of the headship of women over men in politics, religion, culture and other matters, UNTIL I have seen this picture. I know a little of art history and art appreciation, and I know of no such likeness or simile of matriarchal over patriarchal civilization. The Impact of the picture to me is literally smashing. Who knows? Maybe other people who have viewed this work have seen what I've seen, but--how come historically speaking has no one come up with such a work as here? I sincerely hope that I have not written here on a subject that is so obvious that it would be a bore to read. I only hope what I've written is a fair and maybe documented critique of this wonderful work. . . . I award 5 stars for this picture; however I'm afraid I don't know much about technique. Of course the end result of the variety of techniques you may have used is flawless, and they have served to enhance an understanding of my concept of this beautiful, beautiful work.. . . . I hope you and anyone who may read this critique will find it at least mildly interesting, and in the tradition of Old Rhetoric gives probable (to me) examples of my points. Thank you SO much!