Marble torso (Isis Pelagia)

146 × 48 × 86.5 cm
mid-1st century A.D.
Head and arms missing.
Hekler 1929, 63, no. 51; Szilágyi, J. Gy., in BullMusHong 32–33 (1969), 19–30, 153–159; Castiglione, in BullMusHong 34‒35 (1970), 37–55, 179–189; LIMC V (1990), 784, s.v. Isis, 298; Szilágyi, J. Gy., Antik Gyűjtemény, 77; Szilágyi, J. Gy., Ancient Art, 87, fig. 56; Cristilli, in BABesch 82 (2007)

This female figure hurrying forward in a long dress and fringed mantle is the goddess Isis. Similar statues suggest that she is here depicted as the protector of seafarers. Originally she held both arms forward, probably holding the sails of a ship. The arms and the head were carved separately and then fitted to the torso. The statue may have been sunk into a boat-shaped pedestal. 
The piece was restored in modern times: the statue had been made of Parian marble, but the missing part of the left foot was substituted with a different kind of marble from Carrara. The statue had already been reworked in antiquity. Two wide dowel holes were carved into the back of the mantle so that wings could be attached to the statue: Isis was transformed into a statue of the goddess Nike.

Marble analyses conducted by Danielle Decrouez (Geneva, Museum of Natural History) and Karl Ramseyer (University of Bern, Institute of Geological Sciences) have shown that the statue was made of Parian (Choriodaki) or Luna marble. Click here for the detailed results.