Anubis and the Soldier

Oil on canvas

60 x 75cm



Peter Smeeth

When in a foreign country, a person is subject to the laws of that country and I have wondered, if after death, the same rule applied. Does the person undergo the usual burial rites of that country and is any afterlife also dictated by the beliefs of that country?

Considering this, for Australian troops in Egypt in WW1, would a soldier, killed at

Romani, be judged by Anubis? (Ancient Egyptian god of death & embalming, who weighed the heart or soul of the deceased and if found to be lighter than a feather they were granted entry to the afterlife.

I have replaced the feather with a “Deadman’s Penny”, the medallion issued to the families of soldiers killed in WW1.

Reduced to basics, this is a life for 330gms of bronze!

But of course this doesn’t measure the great intangible qualities of love, honour & courage, which are the true indicators of a person’s worth.

This painting is about the real value of a human life and I hope it encourages us to think about the 60,000 Australians killed in WW1 and the effect on their families, their communities and the nation.

[Interestingly, 330gm is also the weight of the average male human heart.]