The statue of Neptune

This imposing and almost life-size statue represents Neptune, god of water and the seas.
According to tradition, he is represented as if emerging from the water, with the curls of his beard and hair filled with water.
Using as a model similar statues that are better preserved, we can imagine that he held a dolphin or a fish in his right hand and a trident in his left hand.

Locate in the museum

Bronze (hollow cast, welded)
H. 1.43 m

Second century

Europe / France / Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes / Rhône department / Rhône River

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History of the work

The statue was discovered in the Rhône River near Pont de la Guillotière in 1859. Made as a hollow casting, it was most probably created in the third century in a workshop in Gaul.

Honor to Neptune

In July of each year, the god was honored during the Neptunalia festivities. Neptune, the son of Saturn and Rhea and the husband of Amphitrite, is also the god of horses, like Poseidon, his Greek equivalent. It is easy to recognize him because of the trident, his main attribute, or through the horse or dolphin associated to him.