Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
Originally from Greece, Egypt’s Ptolemaic rulers (332–30 B.C.E.) sought to unite their kingdom’s Greek and Egyptian populations. They created Serapis as a god both populaces could worship. Millennia later, in urban Sierra Leone, newcomers similarly created a transcultural masquerade to appeal to blended neighborhoods. Serapis fused the Greek and Egyptian “kings of the gods” (Zeus and Amun) with Osiris, Egyptian Lord of the Underworld. This unusual two-headed bust of Serapis combines human and animal features. It has the horns of Apis (the Egyptian bull god, who became Osiris-Apis upon death) and the curls of Greek gods. The female figure may be his consort (Isis/Hera). Bearing both Greek and Egyptian elements, this sculpture had transcultural appeal.
30 B.C.E.–395 C.E.
25 x 14 1/2 x 14 1/2 in., 260.5 lb. (63.5 x 36.8 x 36.8 cm, 118.16kg) (show scale)
Gift of Robert B. Woodward
This item is not on view
Serapis, 30 B.C.E.–395 C.E. Marble, 25 x 14 1/2 x 14 1/2 in., 260.5 lb. (63.5 x 36.8 x 36.8 cm, 118.16kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Robert B. Woodward, 13.1070. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.13.1070_connectingcultures_2015.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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