Object Details








Roman Empire (Place created)


200 - 250 A.D.




175 × 53 × 35 cm (68 7/8 × 20 7/8 × 13 3/4 in.)

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Standing with her weight on one leg and clothed in a voluminous gown, this statue of a goddess looks off to her left. The figure displays elements connected with both Hygieia, the goddess of health, and Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The presence of the small, sleeping Eros, the winged young god of love, who leans against her leg, and the goddess's knotted bow hairstyle argue in favor of her identity as Aphrodite. Yet the dress the goddess wears and the snake she holds are more typical of Hygieia. Furthermore, the egg she holds, an emblem of Hygieia's father Asklepios, associates her with that goddess.

As a relative latecomer to the classical pantheon, Hygieia lacked a distinct mythology and hence definitive attributes. Frequently Hygieia was blended or merged with another goddess, both in cult practice and in depictions, and this combination may be represented here.

- 1971

Royal Athena Galleries, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1971.

Selected Works from the Ancient Art Collection of the John Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, California, (May 29 to July 10, 1971) (25)
  • Hetzel Union Gallery (State College), May 29 to July 10, 1971
Beyond Beauty: Antiquities as Evidence (December 16, 1997 to January 17, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to January 17, 1999

Selected Works from the Ancient Art Collection of the John Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, California, exh. cat. (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture, 1971), no. 25.

Vermeule, Cornelius, and Norman Neuerberg. Catalogue of the Ancient Art in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1973), p. 21, no. 42.

Vermeule, C. C. "Greek, Roman, and Etruscan Sculptures: The Benjamin and Lucy Rowland Collection." Burlington Magazine (July 1974), pp. 406, 409, ill. fig. 67 (cited as a comparison).

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), p. 30.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), p. 60.

Schauenburg, Konrad. "Portraets auf roemischen Sarkophagen." Eikones. Antike Kunst, suppl. 12 (1980), pp. 153-59, 157, n. 70.

Croissant, F. "Hygieia." In Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae V (1990), pp. 554-72, p. 563, no. 129; pl. 390.

Lochin, Catherine. "Hypnos/Somnus." Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae V (1990), pp. 591-609, p. 605, no. 149; pl. 390.

Margolis, Stanley, and William Showers. "Ancient Greek and Roman Marble Sculpture: Authentication, Weathering, and Provenance Determination," Marble. Art Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Ancient Sculpture. Papers Delivered at a Symposium at the J. Paul Getty Museum, April 28-30, 1988, pp. 283-299. Malibu: 1990, pp. 283-99, table 4; fig. 9.

Sobel, H. Hygieia: Die Göttin der Gesundheit (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1990), p. 96, no. 7 (cited without inv. no).

de Luca, Goia. "Zur Hygieia in Pergamon." Istanbuler Mitteilungen 41 (1991), pp. 325-62, 361, cat. B 3 (cited without accession number; wrong page and wrong cat. no. referred to in C. C. Vermeule, Catalogue of Ancient Art in the J. Paul Getty Museum).

Education Resources

Education Resource




Ancient Greek & Roman Talk Show

Lesson in which students research and study artworks that depict Greek and Roman deities and present a mock TV talk show with the deities.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; History–Social Science

6-8; 9-12

Three/Five-Part Lesson