Egyptian / Terracotta Figure of Isis-Aphrodite / 2nd?3rd centuryEgyptian
Terracotta Figure of Isis-Aphrodite
2nd?3rd century

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Creator Nationality: African; North African; Egyptian
Creator Name-CRT: Egyptian
Title: Terracotta Figure of Isis-Aphrodite
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 100
Creation End Date: 299
Creation Date: 2nd?3rd century
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: Alluvial clay; brown, black, red, and pink paint on white engobe
Dimensions: H. 19 1/2 in. (49.5 cm)

This tall, sensuously modeled and delicately painted terracotta figurine represents Aphrodite-Isis, a goddess combining attributes of the Egyptian goddesses Isis and Hathor and the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Although otherwise nude, she wears elaborate accessories, including an exaggerated calathos (the crown of Egyptian Hellenistic deities) emblazoned with the sun disk and horns of Isis. Her long corkscrew curls are arranged in the semblance of a traditional Egyptian hairstyle.

Similarly garbed figures of goddesses and female figures associated with marriage, conception, and childbirth are found throughout the Greco-Roman world. The Egyptian version is distinguished by its compressed, frontal, and rather rigidly upright pose, and by its occurrence in burials. These features relate to pharaonic prototypes whose efficacy seems to have extended into the afterlife for women and men alike.

After being formed in a two-part mold, the front of the hollow figurine was dipped in a white engobe (slip), then painted with a white base coat and detailed in stark black, yellow, and a range of reds and pinks, even to an elusive blush over the cheeks.

AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 1991.76
Credit Line: Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1991
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art . All rights reserved.
Style or Period: Hellenistic Period
AMICA ID: MMA_.1991.76
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

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