This exhibit is on the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt and how they were linked to the artwork from that civilization. There are two categories of Egyptian art that make up a large portion of the surviving art: royal commissions and funerary objects. It has been found that religion accounts for the predominance of both types of art. The Egyptian society’s survival depended upon the continuation of the natural forces, like the flooding of the Nile River. The Egyptian gods and goddesses, with whom the king had to assure continuity of life through intercession, represented these natural forces. Religion permeated every aspect of Egyptian life. According to Egyptian belief, the gods not only created the world, but remained involved in its existence. From artistic and textual evidence, we know the names of over 1,500 deities. The Egyptians conceived of their gods in myriad human, animal, and hybrid forms, and assigned numerous functions to them, which evolved over the course of time. The chief deity was the sun, whom they worshiped as Ra-Horakhty. In matters concerning the afterlife, the deities Osiris, Isis, and Horus played key roles. Osiris was the mythical founder of Egypt, and Isis was his consort. Osiris’s brother Seth (god of chaos) murdered him, and having dismembered him, scattered his remains far and wide. Isis eventually recovered them, and reassembled them to create the first mummy. From it she conceived her son, Horus, who avenged his father’s death by besting Seth in a series of contests. Gods took many forms: Ra may have appeared as a falcon-headed man; Osiris as a mummy. The Egyptians called the king himself the son of Ra and saw him as the human embodiment of Horus. The king was considered an equal to the gods, therefore he controlled the lands, the future, and the afterlife. When examining the artwork from ancient Egypt, it is easy to see that it was influenced and shaped by the Egyptian gods and goddesses. Bust and statues of gods and goddesses were believed to be living embodiments of the deities. These sacred statues were generally housed in the Temple, or the dwelling place of the deity, that was dedicated to the god or goddess. These statues were worshipped, revered, and prayers were offered to them along with physical items such as food and drink. Amunhotep III commissioned two or more Sakhmet statues for each day in the year, compelling the goddess’s favor and protection. Amulets often depicted the gods and goddesses and were worn by the living as well as the dead. They were worn for many purposes, some for protection, others to bring good luck, and some so that the gods would bless a family with more children. The power of these amulets derived from the god or goddess that they represented. Funerary text such as The Book of the Dead contained incantations or spells, which ultimately came from copying the Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom. Relatives generally placed a version of The Book of the Dead inside the coffin so that the deceased would have the knowledge to pass the tests imposed by the gods of the underworld. Images of the gods and goddesses are predominantly displayed throughout The Book of the Dead due to their various roles in the afterlife.