The Art and Science of Healing: From Antiquity to the Renaissance

The Art and Science of Healing: From Antiquity to the RenaissanceThe Art and Science of Healing: From Antiquity to the Renaissance

Isis, Horus, and Bes

Watercolor reproduction of wall painting

Isis and Harpocrates Watercolor reproduction by Hamzeh Carr of wall painting from southern wall of House B50E. Modern. Karanis, Egypt. KM 200322

Isis is the Egyptian goddess of fertility and motherhood. Her special attributes are taken from Hathor, the goddess of motherhood: the horns of a cow on her head, with the solar disk between them. Not surprisingly, Isis is conspicuous on uterine amulets designed to facilitate childbirth. As a goddess of healing, however, she can be also invoked for protection against ailments of any kind. On display is also an extraordinary gemstone with Isis nursing her son Horus. Isis is seated to the right, wearing a tunic and mantle, and holding Horus on her knees. On the other side we see an additional icon for the protection of children: an image of the bearded god Bes wearing a feather-crown.