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Egyptian Bronze Sculpture of Osiris Seated - X.0341
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 664 BC to 525 BC
Dimensions: 9.875" (25.1cm) high
Collection: Egyptian
Style: 26th Dynasty
Medium: Bronze


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This exceptionally well-executed and carefully modeled bronze statuette depicts Osiris, Lord of the Westerners and Ruler of Eternity, enthroned and enveloped in a shroud-like garment which envelops his entire body. In keeping with ancient Egyptian artistic design concerns, the metal smiths have not indicated any of this shroud’s details such as the neckline or the exact configuration of the open, flared sleeves from which the arms of the god emerge. His fisted hands are holding his traditional emblems, the crock and the flail, and he is shown wearing the divine, curved false beard. His facial features are well-defined and dominated by his eyes. He is depicted wearing the atef-crown which consists of the White Crown of Upper Egypt to each side of which has been attached an ostrich feather. The bottom of each ostrich feather rests on a horizontally aligned, curved ram’s horn while a uraeus, or sacred cobra, its head crowned by a sun disc, rises up on the outer edge of each of the plumes.

Our statuette was cast as one piece with its integral plinth on which the feet of the god rest. The bronze was then sumptuously ornamented with secondary inlays, as the preserved elements on the beard reveal.

It is on the basis of the style of this bronze and on the appearance of these inlays that one can assign our bronze to the Third Intermediate Period. It was during this time that some of the finest bronze statuettes ever created in ancient Egypt’s long history were crafted. Our bronze dates to that period and is a fine representative of this very accomplished tradition. (X.0341)

References:

Marsha Hill, Royal Bronze Statuary from Ancient Egypt (Leiden 2004), for the most recent, and accurate, discussion of ancient Egyptian bronze sculpture; and Christiane Ziegler, “Les arts du metal,” pages 85ff, in Jean-Louis de Cenival, et al., Tanis. L’or des pharaons (Paris 1987), for a discussion of the consummate bronze casting skills of Egyptian metal workers of the Third Intermediate Period.

- (X.0341)

 

 

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