This bi-frontal statue represents the god Osiris on one side, and the bull Apis on the other. It was incorrectly restored in the 1700s (with the attribution of a female bust), and is now displayed on a base in the form of a lotus-flower, as it was recomposed by Jean-Claude Grenier.
Antinous, favourite of the emperor Hadrian, was deified after his death by drowning in the Nile. He would have been assimilated with the bull Apis, becoming Osiris (the god who died and rose again), subsequently identified by the Ptolemies with Serapis (Alexandrian deity of salvation). The lotus flower from which the statue emerges is also a symbol of eternal regeneration.
The statue was discovered during the excavations of 1736, during the papacy of Benedict XIV (1740-1758), and then displayed in the Capitoline Museums until 1838, when it was transferred to the new Gregorian Egyptian Museum at the behest of Pope Gregory XVI.