Goddess Rosmerta
Goddess Rosmerta
Goddess Rosmerta

Goddess Rosmerta

Goddess Rosmerta at the Berck sur Mer Museum

Georges Dilly asked me to make a Rosmerta, the Gallic goddess of fertility, to place on its empty stand in the display case devoted to Gallo-Roman divinities from the Côte d'Opale region. We had agreed for the BETES A MUSEE exhibition that some of my sculptures could be displayed in the showcases devoted to archaeology. So I created an amulet of the god Sucellus, armed with his mallet and riding a seal, as a counterpart to the real Gaulish Pluto, and a young girl with jewels for the display of glass bead ornaments. The fish with the warriors fitted in very well with the display case devoted to weapons.

To embody Rosmerta, I thought of the bear, an animal revered before the arrival of Christianity. So my plump she- bear had to be nursing at least twins. Once it was out of the oven, I couldn't resist burying it in my garden and digging it up again. All that remained was for Georges Dilly to invent a past for her.

Rosmerta was also presented in 2020 in the showcases of the Val d’Oise Archaeological Museum as part of the solo exhibition “SCULPTURES EN LIBERTE”.

I hope that the real Rosmerta, from the top of her Gallic pantheon, has accepted my modest contribution to keeping her alive among us for a while longer.


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Archaeological notice board of the Goddess Rosmerta

This archaeological billboard with illustrations is available to download: Cartel-Rosmerta.pdf.

Known from Roger Agache's aerial photographs and the discovery of artefacts in the fields, the Dompierre-sur-Authie site was excavated under the direction of Daniel Piton in the 1990s. The religious vocation suggested by the organisation and layout of the buildings, of which only the foundations remained, was verified. It soon became apparent that the Gallo-Roman temples had succeeded an earlier place of worship, marked by the deposit of numerous offerings, and that a certain continuity of religious practice could be assumed.

During the first excavations, the discovery of an inscription on the remains of the base of a statue provided a name for the deity worshipped there. Rosmerta was one of the Celtic divinities that the Romans assimilated and Latinised (she became the wife of Mercury and is usually depicted as a matron holding a cornucopia). This 'interpretatio romana' gradually erased the memory of the original attributes of a divinity that the Celts had left us no representation of. This alone underlines the extreme importance of the discovery made this year, when excavations resumed under the supervision of Sophie Verger.

Beneath the deposits of offerings previously studied by Daniel Piton, a favissa (ritual pit) was unearthed, containing a statue that predates the Romanisation of the site. Rosmerta is depicted in the form of a plump bear nursing two cubs.

This formidable find also allows us to reinterpret elements from the first excavation. The zoomorphic decoration on some of the complex buckles left as offerings is now perfectly understandable: the attachment hook is a stylised representation of Rosmerta's head.

Artwork Details

Size (Height, Length, Depth)
45 x 17 x 22 cm
Unique piece
Work authenticated and delivered with certificate of authenticity
Hand signed work


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