Lares (singular: Lar) were guardian deities in ancient Roman religion. These little figurines were placed in Roman households to observe, protect and influence all that happened within the boundaries of the home.
This example, a reproduction of an original in the Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization at Lyon, France, is thought to be from the 1st Century. Before being acquired by the Museum in 1885, it belonged to a private collection in Lyon, but its precise origin is unknown. Originally the figurine would have held a patera (a small shallow dish used for rituals) in his right hand and the horn of plenty (a horn containing food and drink in endless supply) in his left.
The distinctive features of this figurine are the noble expression of the face, the lively movement of the body and the elegance of the draped clothing.