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Egyptian Bronze large figure of Isis and Horus, Third Intermediate - Late Period, circa 747-525 B.C

Conservation:  Restored; Incomplete footrest otherwise in good condition
Material:  Bronze
Dimensions:  29,5 x 12,5 cm
Provenance:  Acquired at Bonhams, London, Auction, 2008
Exhibited:  Ifergan Collection, Málaga (2018-2020) / Feriarte, Madrid, 12-20 November 2022


On request
Ref bhm080 Category Tags ,

The goddess shown seated suckling the infant Horus, wearing the lunar disc with horns, the tripartite wig with finely incised details, the close fitting dress ornamented with a broad collar, the naked child-deity represented with characteristic plaited side lock of youth and broad incised collar, seated on his mother’s lap, her long slender feet resting on a rectangular plinth with hieroglyphic inscription naming the owner as Pa-wedja son of Iah-ir-dis.

According to Egyptian mythology, after the death of Osiris and his subsequent resurrection as lord of the underworld, Isis gave birth to her son in secret, protecting him with her magical powers so that he could avenge his father’s murder.

The most prominent mythological figure of Isis was as the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus, and she was revered as the archetypal wife and mother. The earliest mentions of Isis date back to the 5th Egyptian dynasty, when the first literary inscriptions are found, but her cult became important late in Egyptian history, when she began to absorb the cults of many other goddesses. Some consider the depictions of Isis suckling her child to be the natural prototype of the Christian image of the Virgin and Child.

Similar items

Comparable examples of the seated figure of Isis with Horus can be found in various museums around the world:

Fig. 1 Statuette of Isis nursing Horus (missing above the legs), inscribed for Hor son of Padihorresnet, 611–594 B.C. The Met Museum (USA), inv. 45.4.3a, b

Fig. 2 Egyptian bronze Figurine of Isis and Horus, Late Period, 26th dynasty. Freud Museum London (UK), inv. 3037

Fig. 3 Egyptian Bronze statuette of the goddess Isis suckling her child, Horus, Glencairn Museum (USA), inv. E1164

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