This is my portrait of Nephthys, protective goddess of the dead in Egyptian mythology. She was sister to Isis and Osiris and sister-wife to Set (who was also Osiris’s brother…what can I say, gods had different family values in that culture), and she was often paired up with her sister as protector of Osiris’s mummified body in funeral rites. So when designing my version of her, I gave her the motifs of death and mummification. While others have given her mummy bandages for clothing, the fossil-headed staff and ammonite earrings are my own contribution to emphasize her stewardship of the dead (and because I love me some prehistoric stuff of course). The super-dark skin color I’ve given her is meant to channel the black bitumen substance used in Egyptian embalming.
Although Nephthys appears to have been a mostly benevolent goddess, her macabre domain still called for a rather sinister backdrop. I’ll just say that as protector of the dead, she has to keep away would-be disturbers by scaring the lights out of them