Statue of Isis and Horus



Accession Number
W1374
Current Location
House of Death (ground floor), Gods case
Object Type
Sculpture, Statue
Periods
Late Period to Graeco-Roman Period
Material
Metals/alloys (Copper alloy)
Measurements
Height: 130mm
Number of Elements
1
Divine Name
Horus | Isis

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Description

This statuette of the goddess Isis with the infant Horus has been kindly loaned to The Egypt Centre by Mrs. D. Ashworth. It was brought from Egypt by her grandmother. This is made from copper alloy. Isis is shown in the typical attitude of suckling. The uraeus on her forehead is regal. The cow horns and solar disc usually belong to Hathor whose motherly aspect is mirrored here. After he had been murdered by Seth, Isis collected and restored the pieces of her dead husband Osiris so that he could again regenerate. Thus, Horus could be conceived after his father's death. He was then the heir to the living kingdom of Osiris. In his role as the child of Isis, Horus is usually shown naked with the side-lock of youth. (The side-lock can here can be seen on his right side of his head - Egyptian children were often shown with heads shaved apart from a single plaited 'side-lock'). As the child of Isis he later became known as Harpocrates and as such appears on such items as the cippus on display in the Egypt Centre in the 'Religion in The Home' case' In the late Period and through to the Ptolemaic period objects such as this were mass produced and placed in temples as votive offerings. The huge number of statues of Isis and Horus shows the importance of the cult of Isis, which by this period had overtaken that of Hathor, and also bears witness to the increasing cults of mother and child. Some have seen such cults as paralleling the Christian emphasis on Madonna and Child.

Bibliography

Anonymous. 1996. The face of Egypt: Swansea Festival exhibition: 5 October 1996–5 January 1997. Swansea: Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. [Cat. 54] Capel, A., K. and Markoe, G., E. (eds.), (1996), Mistress of the House, Mistress of Heaven. Women in Ancient Egypt. New York: Hudson Hills Press pp. 126-128.