The J. Paul Getty Museum

Statuette of Isis-Fortuna

Object Details


Statuette of Isis-Fortuna






Roman Empire (Place Created)


2nd century A.D.



Object Number:



19 cm (7 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

The Egyptian goddess Isis was adopted into Roman religion in the first century B.C. She possessed a wide range of powers, including the ability to offer her followers a better afterlife. In Roman religion, she was often merged with other Roman goddesses, creating new composite deities. This statuette portrays Isis combined with Fortuna, a fertility goddess who controlled the fate of both individuals and cities. This statuette has attributes of both goddesses: she wears the elaborate headdress of Isis, a lunar disk between horns or feathers, and the front of her long dress is tied in a knot on her chest, the so-called Isis knot. She also holds the usual attributes of Fortuna: the rudder in her right hand refers to her control over the course of human lives, and the cornucopia in her left arm is a symbol of abundance and prosperity


Private Collection [sold, Egyptian, Western Asiatic, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Sotheby's, London, December 1, 1969, lot 120, to Royal Athena Galleries.]

1969 - 1971

Royal Athena Galleries (New York, New York), 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)
  • Hetzel Union Gallery (State College), May 29 to July 10, 1971
The Mediterranean Melting Pot: Commerce and Cultural Exchange in Antiquity (September 9 to December 18, 2011)
  • Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia, September 9 to December 18, 2011

Sotheby's, London. Sale cat., December 1, 1969, lot 120.

Selected Works from the Ancient Art Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, California, exh. cat. (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture, 1971), no. 41.

Tinh, Tran Tam. "Isis." In Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae V (1990), pp. 761-796, p. 784, no 305j.

Pfrommer, Michael, with E. Towne Markus. Greek Gold from Hellenistic Egypt. Getty Museum Studies on Art (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), 54 fig. 33.

Mattusch, Carol C. Enduring Bronze: Ancient Art, Modern Views (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014), p. 51, fig. 29.

Sofroniew, Alexandra. Household Gods: Private Devotion in Ancient Greece and Rome (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), pp. 106, 114-5, 117, fig. 59.