Saturn (Kronos)

Imperial Period
about A.D. 190–211

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 367; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 115 (additional published references).


Height: 42 cm (16 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble from Mt. Filfila, northeastern Algeria

Not On View


The Ancient World



The seated Saturn wore his himation as a veil, part falling or being brought across the lap. Saturn, a god of harvests, carries a sickle, and the sickle in the right hand confirms the identification of this statue. Cults of Saturn were popular in the rich agricultural communities of North Africa. In these formerly Carthaginian areas, he was identified with Baal, the god of Phoenician origins.
The god’s right arm is mostly missing; the left, now also lost, was doweled on with an iron pin. The back of the statue was worked to be set against a niche, and the bottom was fashioned for insertion in the draped lower limbs, which are missing. The nose and other secondary details have suffered damage, and areas of the surface have remains of gray to very light yellow deposit. The god has a drilled-out beard. The pupils of the eyes were finished in paint.

Scientific Analysis:
Harvard Lab No. HI263: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.85 / delta18O -3.37, Attribution - Probably Mt. Filfila, Algeria, Justification - isotopes; some gray spots, fine grained, from Algeria.


By about 1956: said to have come from Cuicul (Jamîla) in Algeria about 1956 via Paris art market; by about 1957: Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Rowland, Jr. Collection; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Rowland, Jr. to MFA, December 27, 1965

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Rowland, Jr.