Thursday, May 26, 2016
New Tanit Art
So this is Tanit (or Tanith), the Carthaginian Great Goddess, known to the Romans as Dea Caelistis, 'the Heavenly Goddess'. She's not actually the May Goddess of the Month art (that's Hekate of the Crossroads, which I'm still working on), but a Goddess I've been wanting to paint for a while now. Her pose is taken from Her symbol, a triangle with a circle on top and a cross bar, probably a stylized and very abstracted figure of a woman, and Her dress is after Iberian Phoenician (yes, the Phoenicians got over to Spain!) Goddess figurines which probably represent Her. Pomegranates, doves, and palm trees are sacred to Her.
I posted about this piece step by step, from concept to finish, over at my Patreon, which, yes, I'm going to continue to plug, ha. Seriously, though, as I've said below, the whole Patreon thing has been really helpful, not just as far as encouragement and inspiration go, but because I've been writing there about my process on pieces as I make them, so it's helped also focus and clarify what I'm doing with a piece and how I'm doing it. I don't generally write about what I'm doing, but it's proving to be quite helpful.
Anyway I rather like this Tanit, all in Her Tyrian purple, with the Tunisian desert behind Her; I realized only after I'd settled on the pattern that the clamshell-thingies meant to represent sand dunes or desert hills look like gravestones, which is entirely appropriate given the controversy over whether Tanit accepted child sacrifices. I'm inclined to think that's mostly propaganda from Carthage's enemies; at any rate, I don't think it very likely that the separate child graveyards are entirely (or even mostly) composed of children sacrificed to Her, when infant and child mortality was so high some two thousand years ago.