Nefertari is Miffed

Nefertari is Miffed

The Egyptian Queen Nefertari is feeling all miffed now, for whatever reason. Maybe her egoistical hubby Ramses II is getting on her nerves again.

More than anything else, this was an experiment with a different approach to coloring than my usual. I recently saw an art book where the artist apparently did all their coloring under the pencil lines without any inking at all, and it was a look I wanted to try out myself.

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I’ll Be Waiting for You, Forever

And I'll Be Waiting for You

“My love, you march to war defiant,
May God returneth you triumphant.
And you’ll be brave, be strong, be true, my love.
And I’ll be waiting for you, forever…
— Angela Van Dyck, “Forever” from the¬†Rome: Total War¬†soundtrack

A Greek soldier fighting for the Ptolemaic army receives a goodbye kiss from his native Egyptian lover. She promises him that she’ll be waiting for his return, either back home or in the afterlife. This was inspired by the song “Forever” from the soundtrack to the first¬†Rome: Total War¬†game. It’s an awfully sweet and romantic song considering the game is about military strategy and conquest, but somehow I find that contrast adds to its beauty (the song “We Are All One” from the Medieval: Total War soundtrack is even better).

A Ptolemaic Affair

A Ptolemaic Affair

A Ptolemaic Affair

A Greek immigrant in Egypt enjoys some intimacy with one of the local ladies. I want to say this takes place during the Ptolemaic period, when a dynasty of Macedonian origin ruled Egypt and numerous Greeks settled in the country. But even before this period, there were Greek mercenaries fighting for the Pharaohs at least as early as the 7th century BC. Regardless of the time period it takes place in, please enjoy the steamy make-out scene!

Sun Princess and Moon Sultan

Sun Princess

This young princess would be destined to rule a kingdom that venerates the sun as their supreme goddess. This one is more of a fantasy design rather than anything historical, although of course there are strong ancient Egyptian/Kushite influences on her jewelry.
And from elsewhere in the same world…
Moon Sultan
This is the sultan of a desert kingdom that worships the moon as their primary god. The influences here are from Middle Eastern cultures such as those of Arabia, Mesopotamia (Iraq), and the Levant (Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria).

Ptolemy IV and Agathoclea

Ptolemy IV and Agathoclea

After recently drawing Agathoclea, the scheming mistress of Ptolemy IV of Egypt (221-205 BC), it was only fair that I do a picture of her having some quality time with the Ptolemaic ruler himself. Since Ptolemy IV had a reputation for drunken revelry and debauchery, I figured that he could have put on quite a bit of excess weight from all the eating that would have gone with that partying (although you wouldn’t know it from the more flattering portraits on his coinage). As for what Agathoclea would see in him, my interpretation of their relationship is that she was simply using him to get her brother Agathocles on the throne (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they had something to do with his death in 205 BC). He may crave her beauty now, but he better watch out!

Agathoclea

Agathoclea

Agathoclea

Born to a Greek father and a mother of “obscure origins”, Agathoclea earned her historical infamy as the mistress of Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt (221-205 BC). It may have been a ruse to grab the throne for her brother Agathocles, for after Ptolemy IV’s death (unexplained as far as I can find), they started pilfering from the royal treasure and had his sister-wife Arsinoe III (a potential rival for the throne) murdered. In the end, their crimes did not pay. While her brother died at the hands of his friends, Agathoclea, her sisters, and her mother were dragged into public naked and torn limb from limb by an angry crowd (all their relatives and anyone complicit in Arsinoe’s murder were also put to death).

Since her mother’s parentage seems to be unknown, I’ve made my interpretation of Agathoclea a Greek/native Egyptian mix simply because I could. Of course, she could have easily used her “exotic” looks to seduce the debauched Ptolemy IV. Incidentally, there was a native revolution happening further south in Egypt during the end of Ptolemy IV’s reign, and it took his successor Ptolemy V Epiphanes to crush it.

Henusten the Rebel Assassin

Henutsen the Rebel Assassin

This started off as a sketch of a hooded archer character that was inspired by the work of another artist. Then I decided to give the character some color, a name, and the rudiments of a backstory.

In my mind, the girl’s name is Henutsen, and she is a native of Upper Egypt (that is, southern or upriver Egypt) during the Ptolemaic dynasty (305-30 BC). This was a dynasty of foreign Macedonian origin, and she would be one of many native Egyptians who resented their rule and wanted to take their country back (a bit like how various other African peoples throughout the continent would resist European colonial rule during the 20th century). Her plan is to assassinate the Ptolemaic ruler (undecided on which one yet, but I am leaning towards Ptolemy IV) to terrify the Greco-Macedonian elite into surrendering control of Egypt back to its indigenous people. But history may not let her get away with it so easily…

Nursing Moses

Nursing MosesSometime after she picked him up from a basket in the Nile, the Egyptian princess from the Book of Exodus’s first act is nursing baby Moses with her own milk. We’ve all seen artistic depictions of the Pharaoh’s daughter rescuing Moses from the river, but I’d like to think I am one of the first artists to depict his early childhood after that one moment.