“Menu, Lord of Ecstasy ”. Number 3 of the Icons of Kemet Series by Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa. Opaque layered natural mineral watercolor on 18” x 24” Strathmore 300 Series cold press watercolor paper. 22 karat gold embellishment. This is a work currently in progress. Photo copyright © 2011 Mariusz Blach photography.
Menu (or Min) is an ancient and important aspect of the great “King of the Gods” Amun-Ra, and was the primary deity honored at Ipet-resyt or Luxor Temple. As the patron of Luxor Temple, Amun-Menu was adored in the guise of Kamutef, “Bull of His Mother”, the blue-black skinned and ithyphallic fertility god responsible for the rejuvenation of king and country during the sumptuous annual Feast of Opet. Menu was also the custodian of regeneration during the lunar harvest festival known as the “Going Forth of Menu”. Fundamentally a god of potent fertility and sexuality, the Greeks identified Menu with their own god of rampant male sexuality and promiscuity, Pan.
Though homosexuality is known to have existed in ancient Egypt, it was not represented in art, and had only somewhat dubious mention in myths and texts. However, I was inspired by the god to portray him as divine inspiration for male-to-male erotic love, as protector and empowerment for those men who find physical, emotional and spiritual fulfillment in other men.
My portrayal of Menu uses both traditional two-dimensional Egyptian perspective (the standard canon of ancient Egyptian art) and aspects of modern three-dimensional shading and perspective to capture the startling and erotic physique of the god. Rising up from the lotus of creation sporting his massive signature erection, Menu is arrayed with his flail-scepter of power, heavy gold lotus collar, and a pectoral necklace displaying some of the deity's most ancient iconographic designs. Surrounding the god on both sides are eight male couples engaged in various acts of sexual dalliance, the erotic delights of men enthused by the potent influence of Menu as patron of male sexuality.
Details from "Menu, Lord of Ecstasy". (1) The God Menu (Greek Min) crowned and bejeweled with sacred ornaments. (3) The God's feet emerge from the sacred blue lotus, springing up from the skin of the celestial leopard. (2) Eager lovers sport beneath a temple's grape-laden canopy on a night crowned by the full moon. Photo copyright © 2011 Mariusz Blach photography.