Antinous before the God Amon-Ra, 130-138
From antique Roman relief
Plaster. 97 x 77,5 cm
Inventory number: L224
Works, relating to this work: Obelisk, c. AD 130 to 138, Monte Pincio, RomeEnlarge photo
The Roman emperor who was most fascinated by Egypt was Hadrian (117-138 AD). In the course of his reign he travelled twice to Egypt to experience the pharaonic civilization. During the second visit his young lover Antinoos drowned in the Nile. In accordance with the traditional Egyptian belief that the drowned became divine, Hadrian subsequently had Antinoos memorialized in a number of portraits in the Egyptian style. An Egyptian-inspired obelisk was also erected in his memory. In Thorvaldsen’s collection of casts there is a cast of one of the reliefs on the obelisk. Here we see the deified Antinoos in Egyptian costume in front of the god Amon-Ra on his throne.