Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Inspired By Nefertiti and Cleopatra

Is it a coincidence that two of history’s most legendary beauties both came from Ancient Egypt? I think it’s fitting, since theirs was a culture that thrived on aesthetics, and considered even death to be a thing of beauty. The Ancient Egyptians were the first people to elevate writing, drawing and sculpture beyond essential trades to true art forms.

Nefertiti and Cleopatra Photo Collage

1. Nefertiti,
2. Cleopatra con el faraón, 3. Unfinished Head of Nefertiti, 4. Cleopatra, 5. Antigo Egito - Akhenaton e Nefertiti,
6. Cleopatra, 7. Queen Nefertiti, 8. Cleopatra, 9. Nefertiti Crown,
10. Nefertiti Model, 11. Cleopatra, 12. Nefertiti, 13. Cleopatra billboard

Nefertiti and Cleopatra have been the inspiration behind a great many works of art, films, books, fashions, and even jewelry. The use of color in Egyptian jewelry was not just for looks, but also for spiritual purposes. Gold was considered the flesh of the gods, and stones such as lapis and carnelian had their own special place in even the most mundane of objects. Here a just a few amazing handmade designs with the royal Egyptian flair:

Egyptian Inspired Handmade Jewelry

Cleopatra Lampwork Bracelet, If Cleopatra Lived in Texas, La Cleopatra Choker

It’s interesting that these two women would be the most recognizable Egyptian queens. They lived and ruled 1300 years apart, and were quite different in many ways. It would make more sense to compare Nefertiti to Hatshepsut - the first and longest reigning female pharaoh.

Cleopatra technically belongs among the likes of Helen of Troy, for she was actually of Greek descent. She was the last pharaoh of Egypt, ruling after the time of Alexander the Great. Though she came from Greece and associated with Romans, Cleopatra embraced the culture of Egypt, and was one of few royals to learn the language.

Nefertiti by ~LevinaTEG on deviantART

cleopatra by ~juliasan on deviantART

There were so many wonderful illustrations inspired by Nefertiti and Cleopatra, that I couldn’t possibly show them all here. You can see more favorites in a gallery of Nefertiti and Cleopatra deviations.

Which Egyptian queen is your favorite?

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  1. What a great post! Love all the images and information. Thank you so much for showing off my bracelet here!

  2. I love anything Cleo. I find her and her life so interesting. If you haven't read it the book Cleopatra: A Life is a biography that was on the best seller list for a long time around Christmas, not sure if it still is. Also Cleopatra A Memoir by Margaret Gregory is a historical fiction about her life, and incredible book. It is HUGE, but I couldn't put it down!

  3. I also love Cleopatra! She was amazing. The inspirations you put together are amazing!

  4. This is a superb collection with description.Thanks to Nefertiti and Cleopatra for that.


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