Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
664–30 B.C.
From Egypt
Cupreous metal
H. 9.7 cm (3 13/16 in.); W. 2.3 cm (7/8 in.); D. 1.8 cm (11/16 in.) H. (with tang): 11 cm (4 5/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph W. Drexel, 1889
Accession Number:
Not on view
Osiris, foremost of the Egyptian funerary gods and ruler of the underworld, stands upright in a close-fitting mummiform garment. The garment hugs the contours of his arms and shoulders. A suspension loop is positioned at the base of the neck. He holds the royal crook and flail with his arms crossed on his chest. Copper alloy statuettes of Osiris generally exhibit one of three arm positions: asymmetrical with the right fist over the left, symmetrical with the fists touching, and arms crossed. The latter position, seen here, is the least common of the three but still frequently utilized. Why these arm positions are so consistently represented and how they relate to workshop practices, chronological changes, or conceptions of cult is unknown.
Osiris statuettes such as this one were some of the most abundant temple offerings in Egypt by the first millennium B.C., reflecting both the god’s importance and changing cult practices that spurred the wide-scale dedication of deity statuettes. Many statues of Osiris were offered in temples and shrines belonging to him, but they have also been found in other contexts, for example near temples and shrines honoring other prominent deities or in animal necropoleis.
Donated by Joseph W. Drexel, Philadelphia, 1889.

Gillett, Charles R. Rev. 1898. Catalogue of the Egyptian Antiquities in Halls 3 and 4, Metropolitan Museum of Art Handbook, 4. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 326.

Related Objects

Statue of a goddess, probably Nehemetaui or Nebethetepet

Date: 550–300 B.C. Medium: cupreous metal Accession: 26.7.845 On view in:Gallery 134

Statuette of Amun

Date: ca. 945–712 B.C. Medium: Gold Accession: 26.7.1412 On view in:Gallery 125

Ritual Figure

Date: 380–246 B.C. Medium: Wood, formerly clad with lead sheet Accession: 2003.154 On view in:Gallery 128

Cat Statuette intended to contain a mummified cat

Date: 332–30 B.C. Medium: Leaded bronze Accession: 56.16.1 On view in:Gallery 134

Bes-image of the god Hor-Asha-Khet

Date: 4th–2nd century B.C. Medium: Bronze; gold, electrum, auriferous-silver, copper and copper-alloy inlays Accession: 29.2.3 On view in:Gallery 134