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Thot as a Baboon
Anonymous
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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. These breastplates worn by pharaohs, gods, baboons and private individuals evoked the hopes of eternal life and had the same meaning as the sun rising each morning, which, according to local belief, was gilded by monkeys as it rose (Text from: de Schröder, S. F.: Catálogo de la escultura clásica, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2004, p. 451).

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
E000703
Author
Anonymous
Title
Thot as a Baboon
Date
IV a.C. century
Technique
Sculpted
Medium
Basalt
Dimension
Height: 95 cm.; Width: 52 cm.; Base/bottom: 25 cm.; Weight: 185.2 Kg.
Provenance
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: 04-12-2020 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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