The Garden Pool

(Painting from The Tomb of Nebamun, 18th Dynasty Egypt)


“Viewed from above, as if through the eyes of the gods”

To the eyes of a god the world appears flat. The trees lie flat around the flattened pool, and the ducks and fish lie flat on a water that is all surface. And the goddess sits in the same corner carrying out her work setting out the fruit and water she has collected that morning. She moves too fast for the god’s lazy eye-blink and he finally sees her only when her task is almost done. Each day the same, the goddess ready with the fruit and water.

The goddess’s task is easy: the fruit falls ready from the trees. Each day the feast is prepared – but for whom? The god never sees: his gaze is moving on past the garden just as the guests arrive.

(I’ve been reading 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die, published by Cassell in 2006. The quotation in italics under the picture is from there. I found the picture itself on Wikimedia Commons.)

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