Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco

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Statue of Bes
Sculpture
Roman period (1st century A.D.)
White marble

Images of the god Bes were widespread in Egypt, because although he was a secondary deity, he was particularly venerated in popular religion. His main function was magical, his monstrous appearance and the weapons he held had no other purpose than to frighten evil spirits. Starting in the days of the Middle Kingdom, his sphere of protection focused mainly on aspects cherished in private religion, such as the home, fertility, marriage and childbirth. In the Roman world, Bes was often related to the cult of Isis.
Bes is often pictured as a dwarf whose face is distorted by a grimace – ticking out his tongue, for instance. He might be wearing a crown of feathers. He has lion-like ears, tail and mane. He is often shown holding a short sword and the Sa (good-luck knot).

Provenance: From Colonna, Latium
Inventory: Inv. MB 60

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