Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
The cult of the Apis bull at Memphis was one of the oldest cults in Egypt, dating to Dynasty I and perhaps even the Predynastic Period. The Apis bull was a manifestation of the god Ptah and an intermediary for that god as well, thus endowed with oracular powers. At the death of an Apis bull, the underground burial chambers where his mummy would be interred were opened for a period of seventy days. During that time, private individuals would erect stelae and leave votive offerings for the deceased bull, asking for benefits like good health and longevity for themselves and their kin. This bronze is quite likely such a votive.
3 9/16 × 1 1/8 × 2 3/4 in. (9 × 2.9 × 7 cm)
As mounted: 5 1/8 × 2 3/16 × 3 in. (13 × 5.5 × 7.6 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Small bronze figure of an Apis Bull standing on an oblong plinth. Between his horns is the sun disk with uraeus. Incised collar and incised decorations on back.
Condition: Intact, numerous scattered light green spots, balance of surface dull black. Cast solid, good workmanship, decorations on back probably only decorative, though a close inspection might reveal an inscription. Large dowel on base.
This item is not on view
Apis Bull, 381-343 B.C.E. Bronze, 3 9/16 × 1 1/8 × 2 3/4 in. (9 × 2.9 × 7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 05.367. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 05.367_edited_SL3.jpg)
overall, 05.367_edited_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2017
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.