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image BR19

Graeco-Roman statuette of the Egyptian God Anubis

Roman period

Height: 12.5cm

Museum number: BR19

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 428help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

The god Anubis with a jackal's head, clothed in a tunic girt at the waist and a traveller's paenula, stands with left leg back and cocked up on a small round pedestal. In his right hand, which is extended, he holds the situla and in his left, which is lowered, the palm branch. Both these objects are emblems of the cult of Isis.

A similar figure of this popular Graeco-Roman manifestation of the Egyptian Anubis appears in sculptured relief on an altar in the Egyptian Collection of the Capitoline, "dedicated to the Goddess Isis with imitative sculptures of the Roman period"1 and found in the Iseum in the Campus Martius. In this representation the left hand holds the two Isiac attributes and the extended right the caduceus, "the emblem of Mercury, with whom the Romans identified Anubis as guardian of tombs and conductor of souls (Hermes ιvχoπoμπós)". Both the standing Anubis with caduceus in left hand, palm in right, and Harpocrates in traditional Graeco-Roman pose appear on the sides of a tombstone (?) formerly in a vineyard on the Via Flaminia outside Rome and now lost (?). In the front panel appears a half-length figure of the deceased, and the grave inscription below2.

1Jones, Cap., p. 359, no. 12, pl. 91, no. 12A.
2Reinach, RR, III, p. 229, figs. 3-5, and refs.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unrecorded.

Literature

Soane, Description, 1835, p.47.


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk