Mirror: Isis with Horus as a Baby

 
Culture
Egyptian
Creation date
Materials
bronze
Dimensions
L: 10 in. mirror: 5 X 4 1/2 (diam.) in.
Credit line
James V. Sweetser Fund
Accession number
51.44
Collection
Currently On View In
Leah and Charles Redish Gallery - K312

This mirror portrays Isis as a figure of fertility and maternity.  She holds her son, Horus, who appears as a miniature adult.  As the mother of Horus, the protector of the pharaoh, Isis was essentially the queen of the gods, and thus the universal mother.  The form above her head looks much like the hieroglyph of a lotus blossom, a symbol of creation for the Egyptians because it closed every night and blossomed again every morning.  Isis appears practically nude, which was uncommon for a god.  Here, she is portrayed in a sensual manner: the band around her waist is a garment that is often seen on eroticized feminine figurines buried with mummies, which were believed to help the deceased magically procreate in the afterlife.

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Egyptian and Near Eastern Art

This mirror portrays Isis as a figure of fertility and maternity.  She holds her son, Horus, who appears as a miniature adult.  As the mother of Horus, the protector of the pharaoh, Isis was essentially the queen of the gods, and thus the universal mother.  The form above her head looks much like the hieroglyph of a lotus blossom, a symbol of creation for the Egyptians because it closed every night and blossomed again every morning.  Isis appears practically nude, which was uncommon for a god.  Here, she is portrayed in a sensual manner: the band around her waist is a garment that is often seen on eroticized feminine figurines buried with mummies, which were believed to help the deceased magically procreate in the afterlife.