Artist unknown / The Goddess Isis / 1st CenturyArtist unknown
The Goddess Isis
1st Century

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Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: African; North African; Egyptian
Creator Role: Sculptor
Creator Name-CRT: Artist unknown
Title: The Goddess Isis
View: 3/4 view
Creation Start Date: 1
Creation End Date: 99
Creation Date: 1st Century
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Bronze
Materials and Techniques: bronze
Dimensions: H.9 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 68.9.5
Credit Line: Gift of the Morse Foundation

According to Egyptian myth the goddess Isis knew the secrets of immortality and raised her husband, Osiris, from the dead. In Egypt, people regularly left small bronze figures like this one at temples or funereal sites in order to attract the deity represented. This statuette of Isis dates to the 1st century A.D., when Rome ruled over Egypt. The artistic traditions of both cultures are evident in its design. Her stiff stance is Egyptian, but the sculpture's naturalism is characteristic of Roman Imperial art. Isis's eyes, broad upper lip, and rounded cheeks give her face a Roman portrait quality. Much of her gown is close-fitting to her body, then falls loosely over her legs.

In her left hand Isis holds her magical dart-shaped serpent, a reference to the power of her knowledge of immortality. In her right hand is a jug, presumably of sacred water, associated with accomplished magicians. Isis wears the combined crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, indicating her dominion over both. At the base of her crown a vulture wraps it's wings around her head, symbolizing her protective powers. At her bust is an amulet known as an Isis-knot, a fertility symbol and a reference to her life-giving powers.

from the World Mythology slide set, MIA Classroom Materials Department

AMICA ID: MIA_.68.9.5
Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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