© Joan Ann Lansberry 2016

The Process:

This image of Hathor is inspired by her capitals at Bubastis. There are, according to various accounts, five or six of them in museums around the world, and a few fragments of them at the Bubastis Open Air museum. I've found, besides the one at MFA, I've photographed, capitals at the British Museum, the Louvre and the Australian Nicholson museum. I gathered all the photos of them that I could find, from various angles, to form a more cohesive idea of what they might have looked like when new.

I created a trace, referencing several photos of them:


Arjunalistened's photo was most consulted as it is directly head on and has good detail.

The capital at the Nicholson museum might not have had a row of uraei, the break is a very clean one. But the other three show seven uraei from the front view and the Louvre example shows five uraei from the side view, along with a papyrus scepter at the center and two crowned uraei on each side of the scepter, such that these two show from the front view. I opted not to include these side uraei in my trace. It's uncertain if the capital at the Nicholson museum had them originally. The curving side lines probably represent the curved lines in the sistrum as in Nebnefer's block.

I kept the little hints of sistrum curve in this art piece. I evened up some of the original's irregularities, and hand drew some further decoration. That hand drawing had to be digitally fixed, too. From this version, I was able to print, when I then colored. Later I digitally fixed her eyes and mouth to have more of a smiling appearance. As I was working to refine this further, Julia reminded me that the upside down ankhs might have unpleasant symbolism. So I made them all upright in the colored version.

A Variation:

Thinking to possibly adapting this for a needlepoint design, I've simplified this. I've also fixed the too skinny neck and It will print to 8x10 inches or you can keep it 8.5x11 inches. (October 22, 2016)