The Worship of the Egyptian Bull God, Apis
This painting is part of the group: Two Scenes from the Story of Moses

The bull in the sky with the crescent moon on his shoulder is the Egyptian Apis; he used to emerge from a river and when the Egyptians gathered round him with music and chanting, he rose into the air. There is a tradition that the Golden Calf of the Israelites was an image of Apis. Old Testament (Exodus 32: 1-8). It is possible that Filippino is here alluding to the Worship of the Golden Calf.

Both this work and its companion 'Moses brings forth Water out of the Rock', and perhaps other paintings now missing, were probably set in the wainscoting of a room. The design may be by Filippino and perhaps the head of Moses in 'Moses brings forth Water out of the Rock' was painted by him.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
about 1457 - 1504
Full title
The Worship of the Egyptian Bull God, Apis
Group
Date made
about 1500
Medium and support
Oil and egg on wood
Dimensions
78.1 x 137.2 cm
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by Sir Henry Bernhard Samuelson, Bt, in memory of his father, 1937
Inventory number
NG4905
Location in Gallery

Other paintings in the group: Two Scenes from the Story of Moses

Painting
Follower of Filippino Lippi
about 1500
Follower of Filippino Lippi: 'Moses brings forth Water out of the Rock'