Skip Navigation

Isis Nursing Horus

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Isis helped restore Osiris to life and raised their son Horus to avenge his murder. She was thus seen as a deity with great magical powers and came to typify the faithful wife and devoted mother. She is shown here nursing the infant Horus. Her throne sits in the embrace of a vulture, a deity that spreads its wings about mother and child in a gesture of protection.
CULTURE Egyptian
MEDIUM Egyptian alabaster (calcite), bronze
  • Reportedly From: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 712–525 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY second half of Dynasty 25 to Dynasty 26
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period to Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 7 3/8 x 2 1/4 x 5 5/16 in. (18.7 x 5.7 x 13.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Green calcite figure of Isis seated and nursing the infant Horus. The sides of the deity's throne are decorated with texts. The stone sculpture is connected to a bronze base by means of flanges on bronze base. The figure is "protected" in the rear and on both sides by a vulture body with wings which curve around towards the front. The wings were once inlaid with red and blue glass. The bird itself was made of two castings: wings and body, legs and tail. They were attached to the body by means of a tang fitting into a slot on the bronze base. Two more slots in the bronze base, located before the goddess, may have been for the attachment of a worshiping figure. The goddess is crowned, in bronze, with a circular frieze of uraei from which rise a cow's horns with solar disk. The sides of the bronze base bear inscriptions.
    CAPTION Egyptian. Isis Nursing Horus, ca. 712–525 B.C.E. Egyptian alabaster (calcite), bronze, 7 3/8 x 2 1/4 x 5 5/16 in. (18.7 x 5.7 x 13.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.400Ea-c. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.400E_front_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 37.400E_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
    "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.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    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 (charges apply). 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
    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.