The Canaanites were ancient people who inhabited the land of Canaan, modern day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Bronze statuettes would have been cast in the shape of idols, worshippers or deities and used as votive pieces in tombs and shrines. Ba’al has a rich history and was worshipped amongst many cultures across the Western Asiatic. Translated to mean ‘owner’ or ‘lord’, the term was used as a title from the third millennium, referencing a deity in particular. It was associated with the god Hadad, another storm and fertility god, as Baʿal Haddu. By the first millenium the two gods were distinct and separate in their worship, with Ba’al increasing in importance. Eventually he replaced El as the chief deity of the Canaanite pantheon.
Canaanite Bronze Votive Statuette of God Ba’al
A bronze Canaanite figure of a bearded male, standing frontal with straight legs and with his arms bent and gestures forwards. The figure is depicted wearing a conical hat with a thick brim and his stylised face is expressive, composed of two large indented circular eyes, a sculpted nose and mouth, and lug ears. There is a tapered tang beneath the feet of the figure for mounting. Bronze statuettes of idols and worshippers, such as this fine example, would have been placed in graves, temples or private shrines for devotion. The arm placement and the conical headdress suggest that this figure represents the god Ba’al.
The statuette is supplied with a custom-made wooden stand.
Provenance: From a French collection. Paris gallery, 2000s.
Condition: Fine condition. Some patination and earthly encrustation on the surface.