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Thot as a Baboon
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Thot as a Baboon

IV a.C. century. Basalt. Not on display

This baboon was acquired by the Marquis of El Carpio in Rome, from an unidentified source. A drawing in the Carpio album indicates that missing parts were added. He sits with his legs flexed and his tail on the ground, running around his body. His two forearms rest on his thighs with his hands on his knees.

During the reign of Charles III, this figure was erroneously considered a bear, and in the Ajello sketchbook, it is identified as Anubis. In fact, it represents Thot, in his animal form. This Egyptian Moon god usually bears a crescent on his forehead and is the lord of time, mathematics and the art of wriiting, the science of rituals and magic. He defines the duration of a human life at birth, controls the weight of souls when the dead are judged, and leads them to Osiris.

The Prado´s figure is considerably larger than life. A smooth cord around its neck holds a breastplate in the shape of an empty pavilion on which a figure may originally have been painted. The smooth cord could have had an embedded plate.

Schröder, Stephan F., Catálogo de la escultura clásica: Museo del Prado, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2004, p.451-453

Technical data

Related artworks

Cinocéfalo (Anubis, según Ajello)
Pencil on paper, Mid-XVIIIcentury
Inventory number
Thot as a Baboon
IV a.C. century
Height: 95 cm.; Width: 52 cm.; Base/bottom: 25 cm.; Weight: 185.2 Kg.
Collection of VII marqués del Carpio, Roma, 1676-1682; Royal Collection (Felipe V's collection, Palacio de La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia).

Bibliography +

Schröder, Stephan F., Catálogo de la escultura clásica: Museo del Prado, II, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 451-453.

Schröder,S.; Elvira Barba, M. A, ''Eutichio Ajello (1711-1793) y su descripción de la célebre Real Galería de San Idelfonso'', Boletín del Museo del Prado, XXIV, 2006, pp. 40-88.

Frutos Sastre, Leticia M., El templo de la fama : alegoría del Marqués del Carpio, Fundación Caja Madrid, Madrid, 2009, pp. 293-294.



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Update date: 11-09-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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