Statue of Isis Nursing the Child Horus
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Special Exhibitions, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Birth and rebirth took place within a family. Ancient Egyptians regarded the first royal family—including Osiris, his wife Isis, and their child Horus—as the model to imitate. But even with the joy of a birth, death was present: Osiris and Isis conceived their child through magic following his murder by his jealous brother. After the procreation of Horus, Osiris retired to the afterlife as the divine king of the Netherworld, while Isis gave birth and then raised Horus until he was ready to rule Egypt.
Osiris’s life, death, and rebirth into the afterlife formed a pattern that all Egyptians sought to replicate in the tomb. Using the power of language, the deceased was addressed as Osiris during the funeral ritual. Osiris was added to the personal name and written on the coffin. In this case, too, language could shape reality for the Egyptians.
XXVI Dynasty, or later
10 7/16 x 2 11/16 x 3 7/16 in. (26.5 x 6.9 x 8.8 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Statue of Isis Nursing the Child Horus, 664-332 B.C.E. Bronze, 10 7/16 x 2 11/16 x 3 7/16 in. (26.5 x 6.9 x 8.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.371E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.371E_PS2.jpg)
overall, 37.371E_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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