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Boss with Head of Oceanus: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This bronze medallion depicts the bearded head of Oceanus, the god of the river which the ancients believed surrounded the earth and was the source of all waters. A boss served as an ornamental attachment to a piece of domestic or religious furniture. There are remnants of silver and copper inlays on the god's eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead. Various sea creatures dive in and out of his flowing beard, while two dolphins on his head function as a crown. Oceanus is set against a background of scales, in reference to the tradition that he had a human head and a fish's body.
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009