The Freud Museum

Head of Osiris

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3128, Head of Osiris, Third Intermediate Period; 1075-716 B.C.; or later

Artist: Photographer: Ardon Bar Hama
Culture: Egyptian
Material: bronze
Dimensions: h. 7 in. / 18 cm

This bronze head, broken from a hollow-cast statue, is the god Osiris. Osiris, originally a fertility god, eventually became known as ruler of the underworld and god of resurrection. Just as the pharaoh was seen as the embodiment of Horus in life, he was associated with Osiris after his death. This connection between Osiris and the afterlife was later applied to all Egyptians, making him an extremely popular deity. Osiris’s affiliation with the life cycle may have made him particularly of interest to Freud, who was deeply fascinated with the Egyptian beliefs about life and death.

Freud’s bronze head is identified as Osiris by his usual atef crown, which is the white crown of Upper Egypt and red plumes. A now headless uraeus, the sacred cobra of Egypt, adorns the crown. The head would have been further decorated with a beard and inlaid eyes. Because of its rich decoration, the head was probably a cult figure or an offering to the god from a wealthy worshipper.

See this object on our Collections site here 

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