Artist unknown / Figure of a ram / 5th centuryArtist unknown
Figure of a ram
5th century

View Larger Image

View Full Catalog Record Below

This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library™), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world. offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
Preview the AMICA Library™ Public Collection in Luna Browser Now

  • Cultures and time periods represented range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
  • Types of works include paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs, textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.

Gain access to this incredible resource through either a monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute details of the images. Visit for more information on the collection, click on the link below the revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at .

Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: African; North African; Egyptian
Creator Role: Sculptor
Creator Name-CRT: Artist unknown
Title: Figure of a ram
View: front
Creation Start Date: 400
Creation End Date: 499
Creation Date: 5th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Limestone
Dimensions: H.10-3/4 x W.26-1/2 x D.5 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 62.53
Credit Line: The William Hood Dunwoody Fund

From the third to the seventh centuries A.D., an isolated form of Christianity, known as Coptic, flourished in the Nile Valley. The Coptic cult retained many of the rituals of the ancient Egyptian religion, particularly those relating to resurrection in Osiris worship. This sculpture illustrates the co-existence of Christian and pagan symbolism in Coptic art. A primary emblem of Christ in his role as a sacrificial victim, the ram was also regarded as the embodiment of the Egyptian sun god, Amon-Re. As Aries, the first sign in the Zodiac, and as an attribute of the Roman god Mars, the ram was associated in classical mythology with the renewal of the agricultural cycle in spring.

This work is a fragment, possible of a pulpit or lintel, from a religious structure such as a church or monastery. Its simplified, nearly abstract form illustrates the stylistic movement away from naturalistic rendering in Coptic art. Artisans used a deep carving technique to create strong contrasts of light and shadow and to enhance the figure's effectiveness as an architectural decoration.

AMICA ID: MIA_.62.53
Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 2001
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.

Home | Subscribe | Preview | Benefits | About | Help | Contact
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.