Fragment of a wall painting

This fragment of a wall painting, showing the head of a fertility god crowned with lotus flowers, comes from one of the rooms of the Temple of Amun. This motif is known from Egyptian sanctuaries since the Old Kingdom and adorned, as in this case, the lower sections of the temple walls; above it, depictions would have shown the king face-to-face with various gods. These Nile gods, personifications of the fertile Nile valley, are shown as androgynous beings and carry an offering tablet and a libation vessel in their hands. The libation vessel’s lid is barely visible on the bottom left. On the temple’s outer walls, this motif would have been worked in relief; this example from an inner room is one of the few surviving examples of Meroitic wall painting. Hundreds of fragments were found of this frieze of fertility gods; painted on mud plaster, they have only survived because they were baked hard during a fire that destroyed the temple.

Fragment of a painting showing a fertility god© SMÄK, Leihgabe des Nationalmuseum Khartoum
Fragment of a painting showing a fertility god, mud-plaster, painted (42 x 31 x 1 cm), 1st century AD, from the Temple of Amun in Naga.