Fine Art Fables: The Story of Isis and Osiris

In the early 2nd century CE, Plutarch wrote a complete ancient account of the Story of Isis and Osiris, and several other Egyptian religious beliefs. However, the oldest known depiction of Osiris dates to about 2300 BCE. Because of his status as a god of death and the underworld, his worship was widespread across all of Egypt, and even spread to other parts of the Mediterranean. 


In Egyptian Mythology, the god Osiris came to Egypt to rule as its King and brough isis, his wife and goddess, with him. He was wise, and kind, allowing humans to flourish. However, his brother Set (Seth, spelling varies) was jealous, and set out on a plan to kill him and take his place. Set was able to trap Osiris in a chest as a form of competition at a party, then threw him in a river to never be found again. Isis, his wife, went to the river and searched until she found the chest. However, Osiris was already dead. Distraught, she went to get the necessary religious supplies to pass his spirit on to the afterlife. Set was enraged at this, and cut Osiris up into fourteen pieces so that he could never come back in the afterlife as one piece. Despite this, Isis was able to heal him with her magical, godly powers and wrapped him as a mummy. This allowed Osiris to come back briefly, however he was unable to stay on Earth. This is how he became King of the Dead.  

Here is a longer summary and translation of the story. It will download a PDF file.


My image depicts Isis using her magical powers to heal Osiris back into one piece. I used the classical pose of the mummy, or a pharaoh, with arms crossed over the chest for Osirus. I tried to keep their iconography similar to the hieroglyphics which describe them. The border is inspired by hieroglyphic symbols as well, but does not have any real meaning. I wanted to keep the pieces of this series (Fine Art Fables) similar to each other visually in order to have a body of work that is all cohesive. Because of this, I used more desaturated colors for the piece, as well as the repeating border motif to make it look similar to my previous post about Snow White.

Sierra Iverson

My name is Sierra Snow Iverson, and I'm a junior pursing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design. I have a focus in animation and film due to my intense interest in storytelling. However, I have a background in Illustration and 2D Design. The content of my postings will center around fables and myths from around the world through a combination of illustrations and written material.

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1 Comment on "Fine Art Fables: The Story of Isis and Osiris"

1 year 9 months ago

These look amazing! I want to see this as an animated feature!