STATUE OF SERAPIS (2nd century A.D.)
The god is portrayed sitting on an un- ornamented throne, with a footrest. He is wearing a long tunic with short sleeves, a cloak, wrapped round his legs with one end hanging over his left shoulder, and sandals. The restored right arm is outstretched, with a patera in the hand; the left rests on a sceptre. On the god’s right side is a damaged statue of Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to Hades.
The present statue resembles the one at-tributed by the sources to Biyaxis, which was at the origin of the cult of Seraphis in Alexandria. The god combined the attributes of the Egyptian gods Osiris and Apis with such Greek gods as Zeus and Hades. The artist might be the younger of the two sculptors named Bryaxis, who was active between 320 and 280 B.C.
The fragment of the sarcophagus on which the statue is placed comprises two Erotes bearing a ribboned garland above which Cupid is riding a sea- panther towards the right. The left arm of the Eros on the right was restored in the 19th century, while the rear part of the figure has been chiselled from the thickness of the slab. There are traces of red paint on the background, in the undercut of the fruit in the garland and on the sea-panther’s tail. Belonging to the same sarcophagus is another fragment in the portico (no. 4b) with the same fig¬uration, but seen as a mirror image of this one, and also the one in the salone (on which the Colossal portrait of Antoninus Pius) representing a Nereid on a Triton, who is blowing a conch shell.