Saturday, June 11, 2016
Line Drawing of Bes

"Sharpie" pen on acid free paper, 17.8 x 25.3 cm (7 x 10 in.), Joan Ann Lansberry, 2016

Bes showed up in my dreams the other day, so I figure this is a good prod to do some art. I started with a visit to an informative page, where I learned that Bes is:

"an intimate protector throughout life, warding off demons of disease and venomous animals. He is also a God of music, of dancing and of good cheer, especially in association with the Goddess Hathor and her son Ihy. Hathorís temple at Dendara hosted an annual festival for Bes, and reliefs depict him playing music and dancing for Hathor, having accompanied her on her return from Ta-Sety (a term for Nubia or for a mythical place to the south of Egypt). Bes has the role, in particular, of appeasing Hathor in her wrathful aspect." (Source: Henadology)

Faience "amulets of the dancing Bes and the frontal-view Bes have been found in the Palace of Amenophis III and Queen Tiye in Western Thebes." But "the most astonishing assortment of Bes types, however, is found on pieces of furniture which belonged to Queen Tiye or were given to relatives of hers. They were discovered in the tomb of her parents, Yuia and Thuiu. There were no less than three beds and three chairs with figures of representatives of the Bes-family and gods related to them. The best-known piece of furniture is the chair of Sit-Amun with the insignia of Hathor, the sistrum and menat, recieving 'gold from the countries of the south' out of the hands of female attendants. On the arms of the same chair, on the outside panels, are five Bes-figures (also one of Thoeris) shown in a lively dance, raising their feet and beating their tambourines, or waving their knives." (Kate Bosse-Griffiths, Amarna Studies and Other Selected Papers, (University Press Fribourg Switzerland 2001), page 53)

Image found at "Ballet Society"

Image source here, (the only illustration I could find of this side)

In addition to this chair for Amunhotep III's eldest daughter, there are two more such chairs. "By the evidence of these three chairs alone one can measure the importance of the Bes-gods in the life of Queen Tiye. But, not surprisingly, the three beds are equally exuberant in their use of figures from the circle of Bes." (Kate Bosse-Griffiths, Amarna Studies..., page 54)

I found an illustration of one of the beds at Wikipedia:

This is a crop of an image from the Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA), De Guerville, A. B. "New Egypt." E.P. Dutton & Company, New York, 1906. p. 213.)

After gathering this info, I hunted up images to inspire my drawing. The Bes at Dendara proved useful, as well as two amulets at the Met museum, MMA #00.4.33, also from the 18th Dynasty and MMA #26.7.1040, from the Late Period.

A frontal view of someone holding a tambourine rounded out the lot. And because I wanted the tambourine to look authentically Egyptian, I referred to one I saw and snapped at the Musical Instrument Museum:

It is called a riqq.
With all of that info, I felt ready to draw!

Sunday, June 12, 2016
Colorful Bes

Colored pencil and"Sharpie" pen on acid free paper, 17.8 x 25.3 cm (7 x 10 in.), Joan Ann Lansberry, 2016

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