Terracotta figure of Harpokrates
with the attributes of Herakles, lion skin and knobby club, in the crook of his
Harpokrates is depicted with the sidelock of a child. The head is expertly
modeled with wide, heavy-lidded eyes, a broad nose, and fleshy lips.
Harpokrates wears the Egyptian headdress with stripes and the threefold Atef-crown.
The youthful god is shown nude with the right forefinger close to the lips. The
wrist with a bracelet.
Harpokrates was the infant son of Isis and Horus and symbolized both youth and
fertility. Harpokrates was revered as the patron deity of childhood.
The syncretic combination with the Greek hero Herakles can be lead back to
common traits in their mythology. Both protected children from peril. Herakles,
killing as a child the snakes sent by Hera.
For a figure from the same mold, cf. item no. 124, p. 101, pl. 23.6 in: E.
Bayer-Niemeier. Griechisch-römische Terrakotten. Melsungen 1988.
Intact, fine condition.
H. 21 cm (8.3 in), H. with stand 23.7 cm (9.3 in)
Swiss private collection, acquired in the Swiss art market 1994-2002.
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