Hygieia, goddess of health
2nd–1st century B.C.
Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 113; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 120 (additional published references).
Height: 8.4 cm (3 5/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
She wears a sleeveless chiton and an elaborately draped himation. The right hand holds the serpent; there is an object of irregular shape in the left, perhaps the remains of a phiale (patera). Hollow cast. Green patina.
In antiquity, the snake was associated with the healing powers of the earth.
By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in Paris. Said from Smyrna.); Anonymous Private Collection; Anonymous gift to MFA, May 10, 1906