Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Statuette of Isis nursing Horus (missing above the legs), inscribed for Hor son of Padihorresnet

Late Period, Saite
Dynasty 26
reign of Necho II
611–594 B.C.
From Egypt
Bronze, gilded silver, electrum; separate leaded bronze throne
H. 39.3 × W. 12.3 × D. 18.8 cm (15 1/2 × 4 13/16 × 7 3/8 in.)
Credit Line:
GIft of David Dows, 1945
Accession Number:
45.4.3a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 127
This figure of Isis, now missing all but the lower legs of the nursing figure of the child that was seated on her lap, has an exceptionally fine countenance. The slightly slanted eyes and upturned lips characteristic of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty are combined here with the extended brow and eyelines suitable to a divinity. The goddess wears the horned headdress that by the Late Period she had adopted from the goddess Hathor as well as the vulture cap that emphasized the maternal role of goddesses. The small base under her feet bears an inscription asking that "great Isis" give life, prosperity, and health to the "Chamberlain of the Divine Consort, Hor, son of the Prince, Count, Overseer of Upper Egypt, Overseer of the Great House of the Divine Consort, Padiharresnet." Although Hor is not well known, his father, Padiharresnet, was the highest official of Nitocris, the God's Wife of Amun, and in his day he was one of the most important men in Thebes. The dates given above for this statue reflect his term in office.

The decoration of the figure is unusual. Gilded-silver inlaid bands were hammered into the recess between the horns and the sun disk on both sides, and the whites of the eyes are gilded silver or electrum, from which much of the gold surface has been abraded.
Mrs. Jane S. Dows Collection; donated to the museum by David Dows, her son, 1945

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