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Artist: Unknown Egyptian Artist Primary
Date: 760-30 BCE
8th century - 1st century BCE
Dimensions: 3.94 x 1 x 1.44 in. (10 x 2.54 x 3.65 cm)
Object Type: Figurine
Creation Place: Middle East, Egypt
Medium and Support: Bronze
Credit Line: Lent by the Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of David Dows, Ph.B. 1908 (1945.170)
Accession Number: L2020.05.10
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries

This statue depicts Horus, the ancient Egyptian god of kingship, as a young child. This iteration of the god became especially popular in the later periods of ancient Egyptian history, as the child Horus began to be associated with healing and protection from venomous animals.


Horus was the son of Osiris and Isis, who, after the death of his father through the hands of his uncle Seth, went to avenge his father’s death. He claimed his right to the throne of Egypt through a series of council meetings with the gods and goddesses,
and various duels with Seth. The pharaoh and Horus were intimately linked through the belief that the current pharaoh was the human reincarnation of Horus. This widespread belief allowed thekings to further legitimize their rule and exert their authority over their people.

This piece was made in Egypt's Third Intermediate Period. Even though there were a series of foreign rulers during this period, they used the traditional Egyptian royal ideology and iconography. The Libyan pharaohs in particular, who first rose to power in the 22nd Dynasty, showed themselves as traditional Egyptian king to legitimize their rule by frequently portraying themselves as depictions of the god Horus as a child. During this time, there was a lot of focus on religious imagery, specially temples and shrines were filled with small statues of gods, distinctly made of metal, where religious offerings could be made.

Martha Maree Quiblat '22


Horus is shown wearing a crown, which has a piece missing at the very top, most likely broken off due to damage. At the front center of his crown is the Uraeus cobra, which is a cobra used to symbolize his divine authority as a king. Horus is shown unclothed and is wearing a side ponytail that is braided on the right side of his head, a hairstyle which was traditionally worn by children in Ancient Egypt.He is shown standing upright, with his left foot adjusted slightly forward, demonstrating that he is mid-action. While Horus is often depicted as a falcon or a man with the head of a falcon, he was sometimes depicted as a child. This references his childhood following the murder of his father Osiris, a key part of the myth of Horus and Seth. This mythology played a major
role in the divine authority extended by pharaohs and their dedication to both Osiris and Horus to whom they owed devotion to in hopes of a substantial afterlife.

Brianna Perez '22


Click a term to view other artwork with the same keyword

Refers to the styles and culture that developed in antiquity in the Nile Valley in the area of modern-day Egypt and southwards. For the cultures and styles of the modern nation of Egypt, use "Egypt (modern)."
Late Period
Refers to the period in Egypt from about 664 to 332 BCE comprising the Twenty-sixth Dynasty through the Thirty-first Dynasty; some sources begin with the Twenty-fifth Dynasty about 750 BCE. The period is the last during which Egypt functioned as an independent political entity and its culture was increasingly under pressure from major civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East. Works of art particularly sculpture are characterized by a uniform idealized style known as the Saite style, developed in the Tewnty-sixth Dynasty which was dominant throughout the Late period.
Refers to a broad range of alloys of copper, specifically any non-ferrous alloy of copper, tin, and zinc or other trace metals. Bronze was made before 3,000 BCE -- possibly as early as 10,000 BCE, although its common use in tools and decorative items is dated only in later artifacts. The proportions of copper and tin vary widely, from 70 to 95 percent copper in surviving ancient artifacts. Because of the copper base, bronze may be very malleable and easy to work. By the Middle Ages in Europe, it was recognized that using the metals in certain proportions could yield specific properties. Some modern bronzes contain no tin at all, substituting other metals such as aluminum, manganese, and even zinc. Historically, the term was used interchangeably with "latten." U.S. standard bronze is composed of 90% copper, 7% tin and 3% zinc. Ancient bronze alloys sometimes contained up to 14% tin.
Three-dimensional works that represent humans, animals, or mythical beasts at less than half life-size. While the term may be used interchangeably with "statuette" in certain situations, it differs in that a statuette is always free-standing while a figurine may be part of a larger work, such as a decorative detail on a candelabra or mirror.
devotional images
Images, either two-dimensional pictures or three-dimensional, used in private piety or other religious purposes in a place of worship or home, intended as recipients of prayer or aids to meditation; distinct from images that serve the liturgy or are primarily didactic.
public domain
Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government. Also, the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.
Belief systems that encompass various personal and institutional relationships between human beings and what they regard as holy, sacred, or divine, usually but not always a deity, or a spiritual or occult force. Participation in a religion is typically manifested in obedience, reverence, and worship, often including group activities and alliance with a leader. Elements of a religion or similar belief system include doctrine, ritual, defined parameters of morality, and a code of living, often seen as a means of achieving spiritual or material improvement.
Genre and tradition concerning the study of a culture's body of myths, belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition in an authoritative and official fashion and through symbolic narrative, iconography, or characterization, usually through the forms and personalities of deities.

Portfolio List

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