Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1909.141
Enlarge this image | Purchase this image
Freer's purchases in Cairo in 1909 included "two great stone Hawks which would nobly defend my little group of Egyptian art when permanently housed." The "hawks" are these two falcons, reportedly from a temple near Alexandria in the Nile Delta.
An important image of kingship, the falcon was the symbol of the Egyptian god Horus, whose earthly embodiment was the pharoah. The heads of the sculptures preserve the remains of an attachment for a headdress, probably the double crown symbolizing rule over both northern and southern Egypt.
The Greek inscriptions on the front of the bases mention the names of the Greek deities Herakles and Aphrodite.
Please note: The Freer Gallery of Art will be closed to the public from January 2016 until summer 2017. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Library, and Archives will remain open for the duration of the renovation. Learn more »