Egyptian Bronze Sculpture of Osiris

SKU X.0305
Circa

600 BC to 300 BC

Dimensions

7.125″ (18.1cm) high x 2.2″ (5.6cm) wide

Medium

Bronze

Origin

Egypt

Gallery Location

UK


 

Osiris, the god and judge of the dead, is depicted in his traditional, mummiform pose enveloped in a shroud from which his arms protrude. These are crossed at the wrists over his chest, with his hands holding a crook and flail respectively. These attributes suggest that the origins of Osiris lay in the agricultural and pastoral pursuits of the early ancient Egyptians who used the flail to thresh grain and the crook to shepherd their flocks. He wears the White Crown of Upper Egypt which is fronted by a uraeus, or sacred cobra. These serpents were believed not to have eye lids and were employed as eternal, vigilant protectors of gods and kings because the Egyptians believed that they never closed their eyes to sleep. This Osiris is also shown wearing a false beard, generally identified as that of a goat because the ancient Egyptians, like the Greeks and Romans after them, believed that the goat was one of the most sexually prolific of animals. This characteristic enabled Osiris to know Isis posthumously, fathering their son, Horus. In like manner, that characteristic enabled the deceased, identified with Osiris, to be resurrected in the Hereafter on the model of human procreation. Many centuries ago, this exquisite bronze sculpture might have been found inside a temple, placed as an offering to the mighty deity. – (X.0305)

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