Statue of Serapis with Cerberus



Statuette of the god Serapis in a throne with Cerberus, his three-headed dog. He is similar to many other statues, derived from the cult statue of Serapis from Alexandria, and attributed to 3rd century BC sculptor, Bryaxis. Such typical features include the frontal pose, the left arm raised and right outstretched, the costume of the sleeved chiton, the himation and the sandals, the large face with the beard, the long hair, the arrangement of hair on the forehead, and the modius (grain measure) on his head. The three headed dog Cerberus is also similar to the typology attributed to the Bryaxis statue. The god has the character of an oracle as symbolised by its open mouth. The statue was probably intended for a private setting, a domestic shrine and many similar ones have been found in Rome. The base with the overhanging lip would make it easy to display in a domestic setting. Serapis was a god associated with healing and death and had a strong personal appeal. Blundell identified the statue as Pluto because of the presence of Cerberus.