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Holy Land (Canaanite) Bronze figure depicting the god Baal, Circa 1500-1200 BC

Conservation:  Good condition
Material:  Bronze
Dimensions:  27,5 x 5 cm
Provenance:  Aphrodite Ancient Art, New York, 2017
Exhibited:  Ifergan Collection, Málaga (2018-2020)


On request
Ref aph134 Category Tag

A large figure of the god Baal, depicted tall and slender, with his arms outstretched and his hands in a fist, as if they had once held some kind of utensil, perhaps a weapon, as these were sacred implements that the gods were accustomed to carrying. The standing figure wears Baal’s characteristic conical cap, topped by an ornament. It has a large face with a huge nose and deep-set eyes that may once have been set with precious or semi-precious stones.

Throughout the ancient Near East, Baal, a storm god associated with the fertility of the earth, was worshipped, and his cult is specifically mentioned in the Bible. Dry summers were believed to be Baal’s time in the underworld; his return in autumn brought renewing rains to the landscape. “Baal’ was the Semitic word for ‘lord’ or ‘master’, and Baal became the divine patron of the royal houses of Canaan.

For similar types of Phoenician bronze figures, mostly of Baal, cf. Cf. D. Collon, The Smiting God: A Study of a Bronze in the Pomerance Collection in New York, Levant 4, (1972) pp.111-34; O. Negbi, Canaanite Gods in Metal, vol.5 (Tel Aviv, 1976).

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