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Seated goddess with a child

Period:
Hittite Empire
Date:
ca. 14th–13th century B.C.
Geography:
Central Anatolia
Culture:
Hittite
Medium:
Gold
Dimensions:
H. 4.3 cm, W. 1.7 cm, D. 1.9 cm
Classification:
Metalwork-Ornaments
Credit Line:
Gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989
Accession Number:
1989.281.12
  • Description

    This tiny pendant was probably intended to be worn round the neck as an amulet. Small gold figures with loops survive from Iran, Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Egypt, attesting to the widespread use of such objects. Similar objects from Hittite culture suggest that these small figures were portable representations of Hittite gods. The figure shown here, cast in gold using the lost-wax process, is of a seated goddess in a long gown, with large oval eyes and a thin mouth with creases at the sides. She is wearing simple, looped earrings and a necklace. Her disk-like headdress probably represents the sun, which would lead to the conclusion that this may be the sun goddess, Arinna, a major Hittite divinity. A loop for suspension protrudes from the back of the headdress. On her lap the goddess holds a naked child, cast separately of solid gold and then attached. The chair on which they are seated is backless and has lion paws.

  • Provenance

    [By 1965, Egon Beckenbauer, Munich]; by 1966, collection of Norbert Schimmel, New York; from 1983, on loan to the Museum by Norbert Schimmel (L.1983.119.3); acquired by the Museum in 1989, gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust.

  • Exhibition History

    “Ancient Art. The Norbert Schimmel Collection,” Cleveland Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1974-1977.

    “Von Troja bis Amarna: The Norbert Schimmel Collection New York,” Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, 1978-1979.

    “Ancient Art: Gifts from the Norbert Schimmel Collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, June 4, 1991–September 15, 1991.

  • References

    Muscarella, Oscar W., ed. 1974. Ancient Art: The Norbert Schimmel Collection. Mainz: Philipp Von Zabern, no. 125.

    Bittel, Kurt. 1976. Les Hittites. Paris: Gallimard, p. 162, fig. 173.

    Bittel, Kurt. Die Hethiter : die Kunst Anatoliens vom Ende des 3. bis zum Anfang des 1. Jahrtausends v. Chr, Verlag CH Beck, Munich, 1976. Fig. 173, p. 162, 166, 168.

    "Learning." The New Yorker, March 29, 1976.

    Settgast, Jürgen, ed. 1978. Von Troja bis Amarna: The Norbert Schimmel Collection New York. Mainz: Philipp Von Zabern, no. 135.

    Güterbock, Hans G. 1983. "Hethitische Götterbilder und Kultobjekte." In Beiträge zur Altertumskunde und Kleinasiens: Festschrift für Kurt Bittel, edited by R.M. Boehmer and H. Hauptmann, vol. 1. Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern, p. 210, 217.

    Harper, Prudence O. et al. 1984. "Ancient Near Eastern Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 41 (4), Spring 1984, pp. 24-25, fig. 24.

    Canby, Jeanny V. 1989. "Hittite Art." Biblical Archaeologist. June-Sept 1989, p. 128.

    Muscarella, Oscar W. 1992. "Seated Goddess with a Child." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49 (4), Ancient Art: Gifts from the Norbert Schimmel Collection (Spring 1992), p. 7.

    Emre, Kutlu and Aykut Çinaroglu. 1993. “A Group of Metal Hittite Vessels from Kinik-Kastamonu.” In Aspects of Art and Iconography: Anatolia and its Neighbors. Studies in Honor of Nimet Özgüç, edited by Machteld J. Mellink, Edith Porada, and Tahsin Özgüç. Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basimevi, p. 702.

    Budin, Stephanie Lynn. 2011. Images of Woman and Child from the Bronze Age. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 180-181, fig. 19.

    Bilgi, Önder. 2012. Anadolu'da Insan Görüntüleri: Klasik Çağ Öncesi. Istanbul: Aygaz, no. 1138, p. 422-423.

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