Description The hippopotamus is an animal which was thought to belong to Seth, the god of the wild and powerful nature. The animal was regarded as a nuisance and an evil doer. On the other hand, the hippopotamus is also an animal of the Nile, and therefore represents fertility and regeneration. The hippopotamus figures of the Middle and early New Kingdom which are decorated with images of papyrus plants may refer to the fertility aspect. This example is of a hippopotamus in a lying posture with its head resting on its front legs. The green-blue color symbolizes the fertile nature and the papyrus buds and blossoms represent the protective place of the papyrus-thicket.
Provenance Dikran Kelekian, Paris and New York; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1923, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1923
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