There is a rich corpus of terracotta figures with a strong association to the goddess Astoreth, whose name was altered to Ishtar within the Assyro-Babylonian religions. The goddess Ishtar, who was derived from the Sumerian goddess Inaana, was worshipped as a significant female deity representing fertility. She was the most important female deity in Mesopotamia throughout the second millennium BC. The nursing scene, where either a human female or a goddess was shown cradling an infant, was first depicted on administrative cylinder seals dating to the Early Dynastic Period (2900-2350 BC). However, unlike the stiff and rigid depictions on these earlier cylinder seals, Old Babylonian terracotta figurines such as this one offer a more sensual and humanistic rendering of the fertility goddess.
Old Babylonian Terracotta Figurine
A finely moulded Old Babylonian fired terracotta figurine depicting a nude fertility goddess nursing a child. She is depicted in the iconic Old Babylonian style, featuring realistic facial features and a plump body that evokes a naturalistic sensuality. She gazes forward gently, holding an infant in her arms and wearing a mantle that falls onto her shoulders. The reverse side is unmodelled, and the figurine is supplied with a purpose-made display platform.
Condition: Very fine; minor weathering and earthly encrustations. Mounted on a custom made stand, measurements provided are including it.
|Dimensions||W 4.6 x H 13 cm|
Near East (Western Asiatic)