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Portrait Bust of Antinous as Osiris

A work made of marble.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of marble.


130-138, with 21st–century English restorations



About this artwork

Antinous (about 111–130), the young lover of Emperor Hadrian (reigned 117–38), drowned in the Nile River in the year 130 while they were on an imperial tour of Egypt. Devastated by the untimely death, Hadrian founded a city in his honor, Antinoupolis, located on the east bank of the Nile, and pronounced him a god. Worship of Antinous spread, and over time portraits of him were produced throughout the Roman Empire.

In this depiction, Antinous wears the traditional headdress of an Egyptian pharaoh known as a nemes. This regalia identifies him with Osiris, the Egyptian god of the underworld, who drowned in the Nile and was reborn from its waters.


On View, Gallery 152


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Roman


Portrait Bust of Antinous as Osiris

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

130 CE–138 CE




Including socle: 94 × 68.6 × 47 cm (37 1/16 × 27 1/16 × 18 9/16 in.); 94 × 68.6 × 47 cm (37 × 27 × 18 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Anonymous loan

Reference Number

Obj: 230470

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Extended information about this artwork

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