Tefnut as a Lioness
The Egyptians represented the relationship between sky and earth by showing the body of Nut rising in a majestic arc over the figure of the dark, fecund earth god, Geb. To prevent them from further sexual union after the birth of Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys, they were separated eternally by Shu, the god of air.
Shu represented the eternal patterns of change the ancient Egyptians associated with cyclical time (neheh). His sister, the leonine goddess Tefnut, was related to the eternal sameness of linear time (djet).
Tefnut, shown here as a lioness, had many different aspects. Among her most significant was the "Eye of Re" an aspect of the sun that could be either beneficial or damaging.
- Medium: Faience
- Place Found: Egypt
- Dates: ca. 664-332 B.C.E.
- Dynasty: XXVI Dynasty-XXXI Dynasty
- Period: Late Period
- Dimensions: 13/16 x 5/8 x 1 9/16 in. (2 x 1.6 x 3.9 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 05.364
- Credit Line: Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Tefnut as a Lioness, ca. 664-332 B.C.E. Faience, 13/16 x 5/8 x 1 9/16 in. (2 x 1.6 x 3.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 05.364. Creative Commons-BY
- Record Completeness: Good (78%)