COLLECTION Egyptian, Greek and Roman sculptures
We are collectors, heart and soul, and we are always seeking out extraordinary objects. The difference is that we are still first and foremost art dealers – that is the basis of our wonderful profession. We are lucky enough to live with these sculptures for a time and feel the emotion that comes in the moment of possession. We take the time to appreciate them in different lights – a soft morning glow, controlled lighting or an afternoon ray of sunshine crossing the apartment. Preciously kept for a time in our interiors within our treasure troves, they temporarily share our lives among our personal gems. However, without a doubt, one day, each one will be added to another collection in another place and will come alive once more; perhaps, this time, for much longer, to be admired alongside other wonders. We are delighted to present to you our recent acquisitions, our latest “collection”.
FRAGMENT OF A RELIEF EGYP T IAN, M IDDL E KING DOM, 2033-1 7 86 BC
HEIGHT: 14.5 CM.
WIDTH: 9.5 CM.
DEPTH: 2.5 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF Y.E. IN PARIS, ACQUIRED BETWEEN 1930 AND 1956 ACCORDING TO FAMILY. PASSED DOWN BY DESCENDANCE THEREAFTER.
This delicate fragment of an Egyptian stele,
the stele relief. Beneath the sun stands a small bird
sculpted from limestone, was crafted during the
of exceptional quality. The bird is represented in
Middle Kingdom, a period that lasted from
profile, with precise, exquisite details, reflecting
2033 to 1786 BC. It is engraved with hieroglyphs,
the sculptorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skill. Standing on both legs, its body
a figurative writing system that had already
is slim and elongated. Its beak, the edge of its eye
dominated in Egypt for centuries. We can
and its wing were delicately enhanced and carved,
make-out a sun with three lines and a bird portrayed
giving the bird relief, as well as a certain severity.
in profile. In the top part of the fragment, there is a
On the right side of the fragment, there is a thick
circle with three rays, each composed of many small
groove that runs from top to bottom. This suggests
triangles sculpted in relief. This motif, interpreted
that there was once another column of hieroglyphs,
as the representation of a shining sun, is considered
which leads us to think that our fragment originally
archaic. It would already have been several centuries
belonged to a larger whole.
old. The rays are represented through a subtle
It is difficult to interpret these hieroglyphs due to
chain of triangles, each exquisitely carved, giving
the fragmentary nature of our stele. However, as
these symbols were frequently used on funerary
Meru conserved in Turin (Ill. 4). Many sculptors
steles, it is not too difficult to glean their meaning.
also had model plaques featuring the small bird.
The representation of this hieroglyph undoubtedly
These made it possible to replicate many examples
conveyed the idea of “shining”, “radiance” or “rise”.
of the motif so that its representation was identical
The archaic sun was often used in later dynasties,
throughout the land, but also helped young scribes
such as 36th Dynasty, established between 664 and
to practise the motif until they achieved perfection.
500 BC. A sarcophagus from that time adorned
A sculptor’s model conserved at the Louvre museum
with an archaic sun is currently conserved in Lyon
in Paris thus shows two quail chicks in different
(Ill. 1). In Dendera, the walls of a temple complex
stages of their creation (Ill. 5), while the collection
dated to the reign of King Pepi I (2289-2255 BC)
of the Rodin museum in Paris includes a finished
and dedicated to Hathor, goddess of beauty and
sculptor’s model (Ill. 6).
maternity, are decorated with a myriad of suns
Egyptian steles, sculpted in wood or limestone,
identical to our hieroglyph (Ill. 2). On another stele
were placed in funerary temples or tombs alongside
dating from the 10th century BC and conserved at the
the deceased and could either represent them
Louvre museum in Paris, the polychrome triangles
directly or portray scenes of offerings. The motifs
of an archaic shining sun are radiating towards a
were accompanied by hieroglyphs that generally
young woman accompanied by the sun god Ra (Ill. 3).
described the life of the deceased, their name, their age, their family and even their livelihood.
Ill. 1. Coffin of Isetenkheb (detail), early Saite period, 36th dynasty, ca. 664-500 BC, painted wood, H.: 176 cm. Musée
Ill. 4. Stele of Meru (detail), 11th dynasty, ca. 2125-2055 BC,
des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, inv. no. 1969-197.
polychrome limestone. Museo Egizio, Turin, inv. no. C.1447.
Ill. 2. Detail of a bas-relief, Temple of Hathor, 6th dynasty,
Ill. 5. Two quail chicks, sculptors’ models, 4th-3rd century BC,
limestone, H.: 22 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. E. 11129.
Ill. 3. Stele of Lady Taperet, 10 -9 century BC, painted wood,
Ill. 6. Quail chick, sculptor’s model, Late Period, 750-320 BC,
H.: 31 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. E 52.
limestone, H.: 8.9 cm. Musée Rodin, Paris, inv. no. 03422.
The bird is known to Egyptologists as a “quail
This Egyptian stele belonged to Y.E., a Parisian
chick” and its phonetic value is the “oo” sound. Also
private collector. According to his family, the stele
synonymous with the plural in hieroglyphic writing,
was acquired between 1930 and 1956. It was then
it is represented on many steles such as that of
passed down as an heirloom within the same family.
FRAGMENT OF A LEFT HAND RO MA N, 1 S T CENTU RY A D
HEIGHT: 10 CM.
WIDTH: 12 CM.
DEPTH: 17 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN THE FRENCH PRIVATE COLLECTION OF DR PIERRE MALLET-GUY (1897-1995), RECEIVED AS A PRESENT FROM HIS PARENTS FOR HIS TWENTIETH BIRTHDAY IN 1917. SINCE THEN, PASSED DOWN AS AN HEIRLOOM.
This delicate, life-sized hand once belonged to the
As it is represented in a particularly realistic way,
life-sized statue of a man, perhaps the effigy of a
we can distinguish the phalanges, bones and even
Roman aristocrat, or even a famous personage from
the nails. The fingers are elegantly curled inwards,
Antiquity such as an emperor. Crafted in bronze,
except for the index. It, on the contrary, is extended
with a dark green patina and some signs of wear, this
as if to point at something or someone or give a
fragment is an extremely valuable archaeological
direction. At the wrist, there are folds of drapery,
allowing us to imagine the bronze statue of a draped man such as the bronze statue of a patron
Our left hand still has all its fingers, except for the
from Herculaneum, Lucius Mammius Maximus,
thumb. Despite the absence of thumb and palm, its
conserved at the National Archaeological Museum
considerable delicacy makes it possible to gauge the
in Naples (Ill. 1). Our hand was created through
quality of the sculpture to which it once belonged.
hollow lost-wax casting. This technique, which was
used by the Greeks and then the Romans, made it
Archaeological Museum in Naples have rings
possible to create large, hollow sculptures, sparing
engraved with the lituus on their left hands. One
material and reducing the weight of the sculpture.
represents Augustus in heroic nudity (Ill. 3) and the
It consists in making a wax model, which was then
other, a draped Tiberius (Ill. 4). These rings were
heated at very high temperatures. Once the wax had
also worn by aristocrats to assert their social status
melted, it was evacuated through vents and replaced
and their power, while simultaneously associating
by the molten bronze.
themselves with divine will, as is the case for the statue of Marcus Calatorius, Roman aristocrat (Ill. 5).
Ill. 1. Statue of Lucius Mammius Maximus, Roman, 1st century AD, bronze, H.: 212 cm. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, inv. no. 5591. Ill. 2. Coin with a lituus (right), Roman, reign of Nerva, AD 97,
Ill. 3. Statue of Augustus, Roman, AD 49â&#x20AC;&#x201C;50, bronze, H.: 250 cm. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, inv. no. 5595.
silver, 3.23 g. British Museum, London, inv. no. R.11484.
All the delicacy and finesse that went into the creation of our elegant hand are apparent in the ring, called annulus in Latin, on the first phalange of the index finger. The centre of the jewel is adorned with an engraving, in which we can make out a serpentine form surmounted by a rectangular scroll. The
Ill. 4. Statue of Tiberius, Roman, 1st century AD, bronze, H.: 230 cm. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, inv. no. 5615.
sinuous symbol is strongly reminiscent of the lituus, a staff with a curled end used by augurs to delineate the sacred area of temples in religious rites (Ill. 2).
Litui were also used by emperors to interpret the will of the gods. Gradually, the symbol thus became one of the official imperial insignia, and the emperor Augustus and his successors wore the engraved rings for their official portraits as an illustration of their power. Two statues conserved at the National
Ill. 5. Statue of M. Calatorius, Roman, 1st century AD, bronze, H.: 217 cm. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, inv. no. 5597.
Our hand can thus be compared to the examples conserved in Naplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; museum, by its quality, its position and the ring representing the lituus. Although it is impossible to give a definite identification of the owner of the hand due to its fragmentary state, there is no doubt as to the high ranking status of the man, who could have been an emperor or a high official in the Roman period. Often placed in Roman forums and religious buildings, statues of emperors, politicians and wealthy Romans dominated their surroundings by their imposing size and exceptional quality. Our bronze hand was part of the collection of Dr Pierre Mallet-Guy (1897-1995), a surgeon from Lyon who travelled his whole life as representative of the Direction GĂŠnĂŠrale des Affaires Culturelles (Directorate General for Cultural Affairs). He received the hand as a present from his parents on the occasion of his twentieth birthday in 1917 and it remained in his collection until his death in 1995. It was passed down to his children as an heirloom.
MUSE RO MAN, 1 S T -2 ND CE NTU RY A D
MARBLE FEET AND BASE RESTORED
HEIGHT: 62 CM.
WIDTH: 26 CM.
DEPTH: 12 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMER EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION SINCE THE LATE 18 TH CENTURY, BASED ON THE RESTORATION TECHNIQUES. PROBABLY BOUGHT IN ROME IN THE 1950S. FORMERLY IN THE AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION OF MR TREBILCOCK, NEW YORK, PURCHASED FROM GALERIE ARCHÉOLOGIE, 40 RUE DU BAC, 7 TH ARRONDISSEMENT, PARIS, ON 2 MAY 1969.
This Roman statue, sculpted in high quality white
sway of the body, called contrapposto, animates the
marble, reveals a play of drapery and folds and the
statue and contrasts the line of the hips with that of
sensual suggestion of a woman’s body.
the shoulders, allowing the young woman’s body to
Our woman is standing, her left leg forward and
form a subtle ‘S’ shape, imbuing the sculpture with
flexed while the right, which is supporting her,
sensuality and motion. Her drapery is formed by a
is tensed, bearing the weight of her body. The
long himation that covers her shoulders and right
position creates a slight sway of the hips, hinted
arm. Behind her, a fold of her garment is fluttering
at beneath the folds of the drapery. Her flexed left
out, as for the front, over the pillar.
arm rests on a pillar, while the right is brought up
Beneath, it is possible to glimpse a fine chiton
to her breast, disappearing into the folds of fabric.
composed of two successive layers, visible in the two
The line of her shoulders is also slightly slanted,
distinct hems of the lower part. Certain spots have a
in the opposite direction to that of the hips. This
“wet” effect and seem to stick to the young woman’s
skin, on her left leg, for instance. The entire drapery
The “Sarcophagus of the Muses”, conserved at the
looks silky, a testament to the sculptor’s delicacy and
Louvre museum in Paris (Ill. 1-1), has a frieze with
dexterity. Finally, hidden under the fabric and the
the nine Muses on one side. The first figure from
numerous folds are small breasts, which enable us to
the left, representing Calliope (Ill. 1-2), Muse of epic
confirm the sex of our sculpted figure.
poetry, and the third, Terpsichore (Ill. 1-3), Muse
No visible attributes reveal the identity of this
of dance, are both very similar to our sculpture.
woman, but we may suppose her to be a Muse. The
On another side, another Muse, this time, capite
drapery, the “wet” effect on her leg and the pillar are
velato (Ill. 1-4), leaning against a pillar, is also very
features that are reproduced in many Greek and
similar. The representations of Polyhymnia, Muse
Roman sculptures representing the Muses. The
of rhetoric and eloquence, often portrayed leaning
nine goddesses were born from the union of Zeus
against a pillar, were particularly appreciated by the
and the Titanide Mnemosyne, who is said to have
high dignitaries and aristocrats of ancient Rome.
invented words and language on Earth. The Muses
A statue conserved at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
generally each held an attribute such as a book, a
in Copenhagen (Ill. 2) and a high relief of the
flute or a theatrical mask, making it possible to
Muse on a Roman sarcophagus (Ill. 3) conserved in
recognise them. Our muse must once have held the
Marseille may also be likened to our sculpture.
attribute that would have enabled us to identify her in her left hand, now missing.
Ill. 1-1. Sarcophagus of the Muses, Roman, 2nd century AD, marble, W.: 206 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. MR 880.
Ill. 2. Statue of Polyhymnia, Roman, 2nd century AD, marble, H.: 179 cm. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, inv. no. 1547. Ill. 3. Sarcophagus (detail), Roman, AD 240-250, marble, H.: 72 cm. Château Borély, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, de la Faïence et de la Mode, Marseille, inv. no. 146.
Ill. 1-2. Detail of the Muse Calliope. Ill. 1-3. Detail of the Muse Terpsichore. Ill. 1-4. Detail of a Muse and a seated man.
As the Muses were the incarnation of beauty, the arts and the divine, artworks representing them were particularly treasured by Romeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aristocratic elite. Their presence in domus and villas allowed their owners to show and assert not only their knowledge and culture, but also their wealth, through particularly refined and delicate artworks, like our Muse. Probably bought in Rome in 1950, this statue was
the 7 th arrondissement of Paris by New York painter Mr Paul Trebilcock (1902-1981) in 1969. It was sent to New York the same year to take its place in his collection.
LID OF A CINERARY URN ET RUS CAN, CHIU SI, 2 ND CENTU RY BC
TERRACOTTA, TRACES OF POLYCHROMY
HEIGHT: 32 CM.
WIDTH: 45 CM.
DEPTH: 23 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF WLADIMIR DE GRĂ&#x153;NEISEN (1868-?), FROM AT LEAST 1925. FORMER PARISIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION SINCE THEN.
This delicate terracotta sculpture representing a
the viewer an impression of softness, demonstrating
deceased woman is the lid of a cinerary urn. She is
the dexterity of the artist.
represented in a semi-reclining position, upper body
The young woman is represented in the traditional
raised, leaning on her left arm, which is supported
posture of guests at a banquet, systematically
by a cushion. Her right arm rests alongside her body
represented reclining on klinai, divans used
and in her hand, she is holding a leaf-shaped fan.
for banquets, with their left arms supported by
Her legs are parted, right knee raised, right foot set
cushions. These urn lids were generally crafted
straight down, while her left leg is bent and rests on
with moulds. However, what makes this one
the ground. The young womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hairstyle consists
exceptional is that it was shaped by hand, with a
of two twisted locks separated by a central parting,
graver, or in other words, a wooden spatula, which
which come together in a low chignon on the nape of
gives the whole sculpture a certain spontaneity.
her neck. She is wearing a tunic girded beneath her
Finally, traces of polychromy, particularly a red
bosom and a thicker mantle covering the entirety
colour, are still visible. Beautiful sculptures of
of her legs. The fabric is represented by large folds,
deceased persons reclining in this very position
giving a singular vibrancy and feeling of motion. It is
surmount urns conserved in New York, in
easy to guess at each part of the body hidden under
Carlsruhe and in Perugia (Ill. 1-3).
the drapery. Moreover, the folds of the cushion give
This urn was part of Wladimir de Grüneisen’s collection. Born in Saint Petersburg in 1868, he studied in his native city before settling in Italy. Following his many publications and research studies, he was named representative of the Imperial Archaeological Institute in Rome by Ill. 1. Cinerary urn, Etruscan, 2nd century BC, terracotta,
emperor Nicholas II of Russia. In the middle of the
H.: 71.8 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,
20th century, he finally moved to Paris, where he
inv. no. 96.9.223a, B. Ill. 2. Cinerary urn, Etruscan, Chiusi, 150-120 BC, terracotta.
continued to study Greek, Roman and Etruscan art.
Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe.
Our lid of a cinerary urn was represented in an illustration in the catalogue entitled Collection
Wladimir de Gruneisen, ci-devant représentant de l’Institut Archéologique Impérial de Nicolas II – Art Classique (“Wladimir de Grüneisen collection, former representative of the Imperial Archaeological Institute of Nicholas II – Classical Art” - Ill. 4). The Ill. 3. Cinerary urn, Etruscan, Chiusi, 2nd-1st century BC,
1925 notice mentioned, among other details, that
terracotta. Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell’Umbria
“the craftsmanship apparent in the lid, shaped by
hand and with a graver, is of an appealing artistic freshness…”.
The Etruscans cremated their deads until the end of the Hellenistic period in the 1st century BC. Cities such as Chiusi, in the province of Siena, then developed workshops specialising in the production of cinerary urns. Typically mass-moulded, these urns were composed of a rectangular base representing mythological or funerary scenes in high relief, while the deceased were represented on the lid in a semi-reclining position, with generic features. Some of the urns, however, were personally crafted by the artist, probably for special orders placed by wealthy clients.
Ill. 4. Publication.
The illustration shows that the lid rested on a rectangular vessel decorated with the episode of a Theban legend: the fight between the rivalrous brothers Eteocles and Polynices, the sons of Oedipus, king of Thebes. Upon his death, the two brothers decided to share the throne. When one refused to transfer power to the other, a fight broke out, and both died. The young men are flanked by two furies, Megaera and Tisiphone. This episode of Hellenic mythology inspired many artists for the decoration of funerary urns. The same scene can be found, for instance, on funerary urns conserved at the Louvre museum (Ill. 5) and the Vatican museums in Paris (Ill. 6).
Ill. 5. Cinerary urn, Etruscan, Chiusi, 2nd century BC, H.: 28 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. MN 1164. Ill. 6. Cinerary urn of the tomb of the Ceicna, Etruscan, Chiusi, 200-150 BC, H.: 28 cm. Vatican Museums, inv. no. 16254.
Publication: - Collection Wladimir de Gruneisen, ci-devant
représentant de l’Institut Archéologique Impérial de Nicolas II – Art Classique (“Wladimir de Grüneisen collection, former representative of the Imperial Archaeological Institute of Nicholas II – Classical Art”), Paris, 1925, p. 47, ill. XXVIII.
CYCLADIC IDOL CYCLADIC ART, SPEDOS TYPE, S ECOND HALF OF THE 3 RD MIL L E NNIU M BC
MARBLE RIGHT ELBOW RESTORED
HEIGHT: 13.5 CM.
WIDTH: 10 CM.
DEPTH: 2.5 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF THE BANKER AND PHILOSOPHER PIERRE MOUSSA (1922-2019), ACQUIRED AT THE SIMONE DE MONBRISON GALLERY, 22 RUE BONAPARTE, 6 TH ARRONDISSEMENT, PARIS, ON 17 FEBRUARY 1977.
This exquisite sculpture represents the torso of
with the peoples of nearby regions. The idols are
a Cycladic idol. With human forms reduced to a
figurines of varying sizes, mainly representing nude
minimum, our idol is portrayed with straight, broad
women, with simple, schematic forms. The many
shoulders and a slightly prominent chest, arms
types of representation evolved over the centuries.
folded one above the other, represented by simple
Subtle variations and details emerged, making it
lines carved in the marble. The waist narrows at the
possible to distinguish workshops, centres and even
pelvis, giving the sculpture a slim figure. The back
sculptors. Our idol should be assimilated to the
is simply represented by a carved spine and two
Spedos type, the name of a cemetery on the island of
folds representing the start of the neck.
Naxos, where many idols with similar stylistic traits
Cycladic idols are sculptures from the Cyclades, a
were found. On the basis of conserved examples,
mountainous archipelago of 56 islands in the Aegean
our sculpture would have had a U shaped face, a
Sea surrounding the island of Delos. The Cycladic
frustoconical nose sculpted in relief and an incised
civilisation thrived during the first Bronze Age,
pubic triangle, ending in long legs, represented
particularly through the trade of marble and obsidian
side by side and separated only by a carved line.
The feet generally tapered into points, which made
and, more precisely, a cult linked to fertility or
the objects unable to stand. Gorgeous examples of
reproduction, crucial themes for the people of the
the Spedos type are conserved in the most renowned
region. That would explain why the idols are mainly
museums in the world (Ill. 1-4).
women, represented naked, unable to stand and thus probably lying down, arms folded, denoting rest. The mystery surrounding Cycladic idols, as well as the extreme schematisation of the female figure, greatly appealed to modern artists, particularly in Paris at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Extremely simplified shapes can, for instance, be found in the works of Modigliani, Brancusi and Picasso (Ill. 5-7).
Ill. 1. Female figure, Spedos type, Early Cycladic II, 2700-2300 BC, marble, H.: 35 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. MA 5012. Ill. 2. Female idol, Spedos type, ca. 2700-2500 BC, marble, H.: 76 cm. British Museum, London, inv. no. 1971,0521.1.
inv. no. AM1993-124. Ill. 6. Constantin Brancusi, “Torse de jeune femme”, 1918. Kunstmuseum, Basel, inv. no. G1980.10. Ill. 7. Pablo Picasso, “Vase : Femme”, 1949. Musée National Picasso, Paris, inv. no. MP3693. Ill. 3. Female Figure, Late Spedos type, 2500-2400 BC, marble, H.: 60 cm. J. P. Getty Museum, Los Angeles, inv. no. 88.AA.80.
Our Cycladic idol was part of the collection owned
Ill. 4. Female idol, Early Cycladic II, 2600-2400 BC,
by Pierre Moussa (1922-2019), Parisian banker,
marble, H.: 62 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 68.148.
businessman and philanthropist. Purchased from the Simone de Monbrison gallery in February 1977 (Ill. 8), it joined an eclectic collection made up of
Today, the specific function of these idols is still
modern paintings, Chinese ceramics, Art Deco
unknown. As they were essentially found in
pieces and even Egyptian works, all chosen with a
tombs, they were probably linked to religious rites
keen gaze, but also through love at first sight.
Ill. 8. Certificate of the Simone de Monbrison gallery.
BUST OF A MAN WITH A PALUDAMENTUM ROMA N, 2 ND CENTU RY A D
MARBLE NOSE AND EARS RESTORED, REPOLISHED
HEIGHT: 82 CM.
WIDTH: 54 CM.
DEPTH: 35 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMER BRITISH PRIVATE COLLECTION OF THE CROWTHER FAMILY AT SYON LODGE, ISLEWORTH, ENGLAND, SINCE AT LEAST THE 1950S.
This bust, which exudes an incredible sense of
draped in a paludamentum, simply worn on his left
presence, represents a middle-aged man. The
shoulder and fastened with a fibula, while his sword
curved carving of the bust rests on a foot decorated
belt is slung across his right shoulder. This military
with an elegant tabula, all sculpted from a single
cape, reserved for emperors and generals, and the
block of marble. Although the little plaque framed
hint of a sword emphasise his status as a warrior-
with scrolls is devoid of any name, the work is
fighter. His regulatory military haircut serves the
typical of Roman portraits from the 2nd century AD.
same purpose. With this iconography, the sculptorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
These busts, works of art in and of themselves, were
aim was to assimilate this bust to one of the emperor
to draw attention to the splendour of their owners.
Trajan (Ill. 1). Inspired by portraits of the emperor
They also made it possible to capture the features
disseminated throughout the Empire, our bust
and psyches of the persons represented.
has the same clean-cut sloping shoulder line, as
The subject is represented with his chest bared. A
well as the same dimpled ear lobe. These features
heritage of classical Greece, semi-nudity transports
enable us to date our bust to the Antonine period
the model to the world of heroes and myths. He is
Similar to a bust dating to the first quarter of the
busts using the extensive array offered by the
2nd century AD and conserved at the Vatican
Crowthers in the most iconic of their properties,
Museums (Ill. 2), our work is a rare example in
Syon Lodge, located in the London suburb of
which the body reflects the age of the model. The
Isleworth. It was on that occasion that Vermeule
skin was shaped in a masterful way, showing the
took a photo of our bust (Ill. 3). Unfortunately, the
marks of time. The particularly lifelike, unflinching
photo was never published in his “ Supplements to
execution makes our subject a truly remarkable
Ancient Marbles in Great Britain”.
artwork. The sculptor skilfully managed to instil this portrait with expression and wisdom. For the Romans, the ultimate goal was less to show the physical traits of models than their psychological traits. The main virtus of our man thus seems to be his maturity and strength of character.
Ill. 3. C. Vermeule, Photograph of a bust at the T. Crowther & Sons gallery at Syon Lodge, 1950s, American Academy in Rome.
Ill. 1. Portrait of Trajan, Roman, AD 98-117, marble, H.: 74 cm. Musei Capitolini, Rome, inv. no. MC0276. Ill. 2. Anonymous bust, Roman, first part of the 2nd century AD, marble, H.: 71 cm. Vatican Museums.
Our bust is a testament to the taste and expert appraisal of the Crowther family, its previous owners,
specialising in the sale of antique and garden statuary since the end of the 19th century. Cornelius Vermeule (1925-2008), professor of antique art and curator of classical art at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, conducted a thorough study on Roman
STELEPHORUS STATUE EGYP T IAN, 18 T H DYNA STY, CA . 1 400-1 292 BC
HEIGHT: 21.5 CM.
WIDTH: 18 CM.
DEPTH: 16 CM.
PROVENANCE: IN THE GALERIE DES SAINTS PÈRES, 6 TH ARRONDISSEMENT, PARIS, IN NOVEMBER 1982. THEN ACQUIRED BY NORMA-JEAN AND BERNARD V. BOTHMER (1912-1993) ON 8 SEPTEMBER 1984.
his pelvis suggests that he was wearing a loincloth.
represents a man holding a stele engraved with
Finally, the sculptor even went as far as to represent
many hieroglyphs against his torso. Stelophorous
the folds of the skin on our man’s chest.
statues appeared in Thebes at the beginning of the
The cube shaped between his arms has hieroglyphs
18th Dynasty (ca. 1400-1292 BC), and their main
on several sides. The top of the front side is
purpose was the worship of the sun god, Re.
decorated with the representation of a solar bark in
Our statue portrays a man, only the upper part of
which a figure is sitting. Above him is carved a sun
whose body has been conserved. Of his face remain
at its zenith. This part depicts Re-Horakhty, the
small ears and a typical beaded wig that falls to his
shoulders. His chin rests on a cubic stele, while
his hands are raised, palms facing outwards. The
precision and the exceptional nature of our statue
sun god and creator of the universe. Underneath,
culminate in the details given by the sculptor: the
two columns of hieroglyphs display a hymn
lines of the hands are exquisitely carved, a mark on
dedicated to the god by the deceased. To the left,
sun the to
we can decipher “You cross the sky”, while the right
strengthening the sculpture’s structure. This
hand column can be translated as “To adore Re
surface expanded more and more when it started to
when he rises/when he appears”.
be used as a text support. This ‘material stock’ then
The top of the cube displays hieroglyphs and two
became a real stele, separating little by little from
scrolls containing two names. On one side, that
the adoring figure, as we can see on an example
of King Amenhotep I, second sovereign of the
from the Egyptian museum in Berlin and an other
18th Dynasty, under the name by which he was
one in the collection of the Louvre museum in Paris
crowned, Amon. On the other is carved the name
of Queen Ahmose Nefertari, wife of Pharaoh Ahmose I, founder of the 18th Dynasty. Finally, the back of our sculpture is decorated with two columns of hieroglyphs. The left one states “[…] at each dawn for the ka [of…]”, probably followed by the name of the beneficiary, now gone. The right column mentions the “offering given to Amon Re-Horakhty by the king”. The deceased thus
Ill. 1. Statue of Sety, Egyptian, 18th Dynasty, limestone,
honours and adores the sun god, hoping that he will
H.: 33 cm. Brooklyn Museum, New York, inv. no. 37.263E.
grant him eternal peace.
Ill. 2. Stelophorous statue of Sa-Iset, Egyptian, 18th Dynasty,
ca. 1400 BC, limestone, H.: 30 cm. Ägyptisches Museum, Berlin, inv. no. 2314.
This statue, with its particular iconography portraying an adoring figure before the sun, corresponds to a new kind of iconography that developed during the 18th Dynasty and is the first piece of evidence of the physical and literary representation of sun worship. Although the statue has not been conserved in its entirety, comparisons with other stelophorous sculptures from the same period enable us to imagine its original shape.
Ill. 3. Stelophorous statue of Neferronpet, Egyptian, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1500 BC, sandstone, H.: 39 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. A79.
At first, stelephorous depicted simple adoring figures, usually kneeling, the arms raised and
The granite stelophorous statues of the same
palms facing the front (Ill. 1). Over the centuries, a
period generally comprised flat steles. From an
“material stock” was added between their arms,
iconographic standpoint, the hieroglyphs on
our stele and the theme of worship feature in
Our stelophorous statue was in the collections
other stelophorous statues conserved in several
international museums. A gorgeous example of
6th arrondissement of Paris between 1982 and
a statue representing the solar bark is conserved
1984. On 8 September 1984, it was acquired by
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
Bertrand V. Bothmer (1912-1993), American
(Ill. 4). Another piece, among the collections of the
Egyptologist and professor of Egyptology at the
Calvet museum in Avignon, has a hymn particularly
Institute of Arts in New York (Ill. 6).
similar to ours, mentioning the god Re-Horakhty in the following terms: “Adore Re-Horakhty (when) he rises over the basket maker (of Amon)” (Ill. 5).
Ill. 4. Stelophorous statue of Bay (detail), Egyptian, 19th Dynasty, ca. 1294-1250 BC, limestone, H.: 28.1 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 66.99.94. Ill. 5. Stelophorous statue of Houy, Egyptian, 18th Dynasty, limestone, H.: 42.5 cm. Musée Calvet, Avignon, inv. no. A41.
The fact our sculpture is made of granite, noblest of stones, even harder to carve than limestone, shows the great skill of the sculptor. Moreover, despite the absence of the name of the beneficiary, this kind of statue was ordered by wealthy people such as high dignitaries or the servants of the Egyptian monarchy. These two factors lead us to think that our stelophorous statue was an exceptional piece, placed in the tomb of an important figure.
Ill. 6. Bertrand V. Bothmer (1912-1993).
PORTRAIT OF A PATRICIAN RO MAN, B EGINNING OF THE 2 ND CENTURY AD
HEIGHT: 26 CM.
WIDTH: 17 CM.
DEPTH: 19 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF THE BANKER AND PHILOSOPHER PIERRE MOUSSA (1922-2019), ACQUIRED AT THE SIMONE DE MONBRISON GALLERY, 22 RUE BONAPARTE, 6 TH ARRONDISSEMENT, PARIS, ON 14 SEPTEMBER 1978.
This elegant head represents a patrician. The young
into an intricate chignon made up of three rows of
woman has a delicate oval face with a pointed chin
exquisitely plaited and entwined locks, revealing the
and high cheekbones. Her almond-shaped eyes with
top part of her head. The sculptor put all his finesse
their prominent eyelids, as well as her delicately
and skill into the detail visible in each plaited lock,
sculpted eyebrows, give her a calm, thoughtful
as well as the delicate ringlets falling around the
expression. Her nose is straight, while her full lips
young womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ears and the nape of her neck.
form a wide mouth, emphasising the impression of severity and wisdom befitting her rank. Her
This is thus the portrait of a patrician, or in
hairstyle is made up of strands of hair flattened
another words, the wife of a high-ranking Roman
to her forehead, drawn back and separated by a
citizen, as opposed to a plebeian woman. In Roman
central parting, uncovering her ears. The whole
times, patricians held important positions and
hairstyle is crowned with a high diadem, devoid
could be members of the Senate or magistrates.
of any decoration and simply featuring an edge at
Patricians were regularly represented, in the fashion
the top. At the back of her head, her hair is pulled
of the time, particularly as regarded hairstyle.
House in England and the Louvre museum in Paris, exhibit the same kind of hairstyle (Ill. 3-4). Our portrait of a patrician was part of the collection of the Simone de Monbrison gallery, located at 22 Rue Bonaparte in the 6th arrondissement in Paris Ill. 1. Matidia Minor, Roman, AD 138-161, marble, H.: 37.5 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 21.88.35. Ill. 2. Sabina (detail), Roman, AD 128-137, marble, H.: 216 cm. Musée Municipal, Vaison-la-Romaine, inv. no. 990.54.004.
(Ill. 5), before it was acquired by Pierre Moussa on 14 September 1978. Pierre Moussa, who was born in 1922 and died in 2019, was a banker, philosopher, man of letters and humanist. Over the years, he and his wife, Anne-Marie, collected a wide variety of objects with which they had fallen in love. From contemporary art with a painting by the artist Télémaque, to Chinese works from the Ming period and Art Deco pieces created by Daum, Pierre and
Ill. 3. Portrait of a woman, Roman, early 2nd century AD,
Anne-Marie Moussa expertly collected an eclectic
marble, H.: 70 cm. Petworth House, Sussex.
group of artworks, a testament to their French
Ill. 4. Portrait of a stranger, Roman, AD 120-130, marble,
brand of refinement.
H.: 28 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. MA4882.
Their portraits were inspired by imperial portraits. The hairstyle with which our citizen is represented is similar, for example, to that of Matidia Minor, sister-in-law of the Emperor Hadrian, in one of her portraits, conserved at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (Ill. 1). The young woman, like the one in our portrait, has a large chignon made up of rows of plaited locks. However, our portrait is older, as the pupils of the eyes are not yet chiselled, a technique that developed around AD 130. Another imperial portrait, that of Empress Sabina, conserved at Vaison-la-Romaine, is also a magnificent example of a portrait featuring this plaited chignon (Ill. 2). Yet more women’s portraits, conserved at Petworth
Ill. 5. Certificat of the Simone de Monbrison gallery.
TORSO OF DIONYSUS ROMAN, 1 S T -2 ND CENTURY AD
MARBLE SMALL RESTORATIONS
HEIGHT: 94 CM.
WIDTH: 40 CM.
DEPTH: 28 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF BARON LÉON DE SOMZÉE (1837-1901), FROM AT LEAST 1897. SOLD BY J. FIEVEZ, COLLECTIONS DE SOMZÉE ( “SOMZÉE COLLECTIONS”), 24 MAY 1904, BRUSSELS, LOT NO. 23. SOLD BY J. FIEVEZ, COLLECTION DE MRS. DE SOMZÉE (“COLLECTION OF MRS DE SOMZÉE”), BRUSSELS, 27-29 MAY 1907, LOT NO. 278. THEN IN A PARISIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION AT 102 RUE DE LA TOUR, 16 TH ARRONDISSEMENT, PARIS.
This elegant white marble sculpture represents a
folds, giving an illusion of thickness and matter, a
young man in heroic nudity. His torso is slender,
testament to the sculptor’s technical prowess.
his thighs slim and extended and his muscles
The young man is standing in the position known
slightly prominent. Unlike the torsos of men with
as contrapposto. The weight of his body is
pronounced muscles, our torso displays delicately
supported by his left leg, while the right is slightly
sculpted abdominal lines, which give an impression
flexed, creating a particular sway of the hips. The
of youth. He is wearing a fold of his chlamys over his
inclined line of the hips is balanced out by the line
left shoulder and down his back. Part of the garment
of the shoulders, which gives the body an ‘S’ shape
would probably have been wrapped around his
and creates a certain impression of movement.
right arm. The drapery is lined with relatively deep
This position was invented by the Greek sculptor
Polyclitus in the 5th century BC. His sculptures
Zeus promised her he would grant her anything
that best display this position are the “Diadumenos”
she desired. The jealous Hera prompted Semele
(“Man Tying on a Fillet”- Ill. 1) and “Doryphoros”
to ask the god to reveal himself in all his divinity.
(“Spear Bearer”). Contrapposto is thus the result of
The potent vision of Zeus killed her instantly. Zeus
his research into the ideal proportions of the human
managed to save the child and hide him in his thigh
body. It marked the transition between the very
until his birth. The newborn was then entrusted
rigid archaic sculpture and classical sculpture. This
to the nymphs of the region of Nysa, who brought
position was widely taken up over the following
him up. As the god of vines, he was associated with
centuries by Greek and then Roman sculptors to
luxuriant vegetation, regeneration, and wine and
represent heroes, deities, emperors and dignitaries.
its excesses. Dionysus is a deity with two faces,
In this kind of iconography, the balance of the
one benevolent and pleasant and the other brutal
sculpture is ensured by another feature, generally a
and wild. According to legend, he brought alcohol
tree trunk, positioned to the side, as shown by the
and its ambivalent effects to the various lands of the
fixture marks that are still visible on the right leg.
Empire with his suite of maenads and satyrs.
Ill. 3. Dionysus, Roman, 1st century AD, marble, H.: 144 cm. Ill. 1. “Diadumenos”, Roman, 1st century AD, marble, H.: 145 cm. British Museum, London, inv. no. GR 1864.10-21.4. Ill. 2. Statue of Dionysus, Greek, 2nd century BC, marble, H.: 75.5 cm. Antikensammlung museum, Berlin,
Galleria Chiaramonti, Vatican museums, inv. no. 1934. Ill. 4. Statue of Dionysus, Roman, Antonine period, marble, H.: 79 cm. Museo Gregoriano Profano, Vatican museums, inv. no. 10402.
inv. no. Sk1532.
The particular position of the drapery used in our Although there are no identifying attributes,
sculpture of Dionysus mirrors that of a statuette
our sculpture probably represents Dionysus, or
of the god conserved at the Antikensammlung
Bacchus for the Romans. According to Ovid’s
museum in Berlin (Ill. 2). As for our torso, the
Metamorphoses, Dionysus was the son of Zeus and
god is represented in the contrapposto position
the mortal Semele. When Semele was pregnant,
with a drapery over his left shoulder, falling
diagonally across his back, then twining around his right arm. This characteristic position of the drapery is the same in two other sculptures representing Dionysus, conserved at the Vatican museums (Ill. 3-4). Our male torso belonged to Baron Léon de Somzée
specialising in gas exploitation (Ill. 5). A major art enthusiast, throughout his life, he acquired numerous sculptures during his journeys in Italy and regularly lent his works to institutions for
Ill. 5. Léon de Somzée (1837-1901).
listed by Furtwängler in his inventory of Somzée’s collection in 1897 (Ill. 6). Upon his death, our torso was first put up for sale in 1904 (Ill. 7). This sale, organised by the auctioneer Mr Fievez, in concert with Somzée’s heirs, included the baron’s entire collection. On that occasion, a vast part went to the collections owned by Belgium, while other works were disseminated throughout the rest of the world. There was a second sale of his wife’s collection upon her death in 1907, when our torso was sold as lot no. 278. Finally, it was catalogued by Salomon Reinach in 1909 (Ill. 8).
Ill. 6. A. Furtwängler, Collection Somzée : Monuments d’art
antique (“Somzée Collection: Monuments of Antique Art”), Munich, 1897, p. 18, no. 23, Plate XV.
Ill. 7. Sale by J. Fievez, Collections de Somzée (“Somzée Collections”), 24 May 1904, Brussels, lot no. 23.
Ill. 8. S. Reinach, Répertoire de la statuaire grecque et
romaine (“Catalogue of Greek and Roman Statuary”), Paris, 1909, Book II, Vol. 2, p. 818, no. 7.
Publications: - A. Furtwängler, Collection Somzée : Monuments
d’art antique (“Somzée Collection: Monuments of Antique Art”), Munich, 1897, p. 18, no. 23, Plate XV. - S. Reinach, Répertoire de la statuaire grecque
et romaine (“Catalogue of Greek and Roman Statuary”), Paris, 1909, Book II, Vol. 2, p. 818, no. 7.
SHABTI IN THE NAME OF NEDJEM-IB EGYPTIAN, MIDDLE KINGDOM, E N D O F T HE 22 T H D YNASTY-BEG INNING OF THE 23 th DYNAS T Y , CA . 1 800-1 640 BC BROWN SERPENTINE
HEIGHT: 28 CM.
WIDTH: 7 CM.
DEPTH: 7 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF RAPHAËL STORA (1886-1963), NEW YORK. THEN WITH JAMES E. LE PÈRE, 3 EAST THIRD STREET, NEW YORK. SOLD TO NORBERT CHOUCROUN (1925-1996), HOUSTON, ON 13 SEPTEMBER 1985. THEN IN THE COLLECTION OF WILL MCLENDON, HOUSTON.
This amazing sculpture carved from serpentine
deceased is wearing a straight, three piece wig,
stone is a shabti, one of the objects used
cascading over their shoulders in two sections
in Egyptian funerary rites. It represents a
and leaving their forehead and ears uncovered.
deceased person, standing and embalmed like
Our shabti is unusual in its features. The large,
a mummy. The arms are invisible but can be
almond-shaped eyes, enhanced by a make-up
made out beneath the shroud through a play
line, draw attention to the round face. The nose
of volumes skilfully crafted by the sculptor.
is wide and surmounts a mouth with rather
They are crossed on the figure’s chest, in the
thick lips. The particularly pronounced smile
position typical of mummies. The feet are
brings out prominent cheekbones, which make
also invisible, wrapped in the fabric. The
our sculpture very expressive. The last features
characterising our face are the two large,
one shabti was left per deceased person, but
delicately sculpted ears, standing out from the
later, it was legions. For instance, a group
wig. Finally, the statuette is decorated with a
of 209 ushabtis inscribed with the name of a
vertical, partly legible line of hieroglyphs giving
single person are conserved at the Louvre-Lens
the name of the deceased: “Nedjem-Ib”.
Museum (Ill. 5).
Shabtis were funerary statuettes that were renamed ushabtis in the Early Period. They started to be placed in tombs during the Middle Kingdom, when a new concept of life and death emerged. After his life on Earth, Man came to the afterlife, a paradisal agricultural world governed by Osiris, the main deity of the Egyptian pantheon. In that world, all the deceased had to perform various tasks
Ill. 1. Shabti, Egyptian, 12th-18th Dynasty, granodiorite, H.: 18 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,
to satisfy their needs, regardless of status or
inv. no. 20.2.7.
rank. Rich citizens thus had shabtis created,
Ill. 2. Shabti, Egyptian, 12th-13th Dynasty, schist, H.: 12.5 cm.
personal substitutes that could carry out these tasks in their place. The perfect representations
Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Holland, inv. no. F1971/7.1. Ill. 3. Shabti, Egyptian, 13th Dynasty, schist, H.: 23 cm. Formerly in the collection of W. Arnold Meijer.
of mummies, these statuettes represent the deceased in a shroud, arms invisible with only the head in sight. Nevertheless, over the centuries, the hands were more and more visible, until they were ultimately represented outside the shroud, holding objects useful for the agricultural tasks that awaited them in the afterlife. Initially devoid of any inscriptions, texts were eventually engraved either to identify the deceased or to make an offering to Osiris. Gorgeous examples resembling our shabti are conserved in private collections and international museums (Ill. 1-4). Finally, over the dynasties, shabtis were more and more frequently placed in tombs. Initially,
Ill. 4. Shabti, Egyptian, 12th-13th Dynasty, granodiorite, H.: 28 cm. Former German private collection. Ill. 5. Ushabtis in the name of Neferibreheb, Egyptian, 500 BC, faience. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. N3459
In terms of their materials, shabtis and then
Will McLendon, a friend of Norbert Choucroun’s,
ushabtis could be made of painted wood, faience
who had his possessions evaluated upon his death
or hard stone. Our item is sculpted in serpentine
stone, with delicate brown glints, giving it a unique aura. This stone, known to have been used in Egyptian statuary, was nevertheless very seldom used in shabti art, which makes our item a rare example of its type. Our statuette is also exceptional in its dimensions. Shabtis are generally small objects, seldom exceeding 20 cm. The height of our sculpture and the fine facial features make it a beautiful artwork, a perfect example of the tradition of Egyptian funerary statuettes, which persisted until the Ptolemaic period.
This shabti was initially part of the collection of
Ill. 6. Photography of our shabti in Mr Stora’s stock, inv. no. C-57-6.
Raphaël Stora (1886-1963). He and his brother Maurice were art dealers, particularly specialising in antiquities in their Parisian boutique in Boulevard Hausmann, before they opened a new branch in New York. A very fine photograph shows our sculpture among the Stora brothers’ stock with the inventory number C-57-6 (Ill. 6). The ‘C’ in front of the number seems to imply that our work was placed (“consigné ” in French) with Mr Stora by its actual owner so he could sell it for them. The statuette then joined the collection of the New York galerist James E. Le Père, whose boutique was located at 3 East Third Street. It was acquired by Norbert Choucroun (1925-1996) on 13 September 1985 and conserved with his other artworks at his home in Houston, Texas (Ill. 7). Finally, the shabti was added to the collection of
Ill. 7. Our shabti in Mr Choucroun’s home.
APHRODITE THE SO-CALLED VENUS GENITRIX ROMA N, 1 S T CENTU RY A D
HEIGHT: 125 CM.
WIDTH: 38 CM.
DEPTH: 36 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN THE PAMPHILJ COLLECTION, IN THE GARDENS OF VILLA PAMPHILJ IN ROME, FROM AT LEAST THE SECOND HALF OF THE 17 TH CENTURY, RESTORED AS EUTERPE. REPORTED IN THE SAME COLLECTION IN 1850. THEN, IN THE FRENCH PRIVATE COLLECTION OF DR B. AND MR C., SOLD BY THE LAIR-DUBREUIL AUCTION HOUSE, PARIS, 19 MAY 1910, LOT NO. 39. IN A FRENCH PRIVATE COLLECTION SINCE THEN.
This splendid sculpture of a woman is striking in
stomach are thus perfectly discernible. Her legs
its sensuality and the realistic representation of
emerge from the draped garment, separated by
her figure. Slightly smaller than life, the woman
long, vertical folds, and their shape is underlined
is dressed in a thin himation. Its complex array of
by an intricate set of curved folds. Her right leg is
folds, which follow the curves of her body, reveals
set back slightly, giving her hips a swaying motion
more than it covers. Under the delicate, transparent
in an elegant contrapposto. The heavier fabric of
fabric, her voluptuous bosom, navel and sensual
the chiton covered her shoulders, now gone, falling
in vertical folds over her left arm and contrasting with the folds of the ‘wet’ drapery, thus creating a perfect balance in the composition. The back of the sculpture, covered by the folds of the chiton, shows less exquisite craftsmanship, which tells us that this sculpture was intended to be admired from the front. Its arms are now missing, but thanks to many replicas of the same statuary type, we can identify Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and love. Bronze and
Ill. 3. Venus Genitrix, Roman, 2nd century AD, marble, H.: 97.7 cm. J. P. Getty Museum, Los Angeles, inv. no. 96.AA.213.
terracotta statuettes (Ill. 1) show us that she would
Ill. 4. Venus Genitrix, Roman, marble, found on the Esquiline
have raised a fold of her chiton above her right
Hill. Centrale Montemartini, Rome, inv. no. MC1078.
shoulder, while her left hand, extended towards the viewer, held the golden apple of discord, whereby
Ill. 5. Statue of Aphrodite, the so-called Venus Genitrix, Roman, 1st-2nd century AD, marble, H.: 151.1 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 32.11.3.
Paris proclaimed Aphrodite to be more beautiful than the other goddesses.
The Greek original that inspired these copies
In the modern era, the most famous work of this type
is often attributed to the Athenian sculptor
was restored according to that same iconography
Callimachus and dated to about 400 BC. Opinions
(Ill. 2). As this sculpture was extremely popular in
diverge on whether the original was made of bronze
the Graeco-Roman world, it has many copies such
or marble. We know little of Callimachus, only
as those conserved at the J. P. Getty Museum in
that he worked in Athens around the time when
Los Angeles (Ill. 3), Centrale Montemartini in
the Acropolis was nearing completion. He is said
Rome (Ill. 4) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art
to have contributed to the sculptures in the temple
in New York (Ill. 5).
of Athena Nike. The sculpture of Nike adjusting her sandal, mounted on the parapet of the temple, closely resembles our sculpture, with its wet drapery effect and the rounded folds over the goddess’ thighs (Ill. 6). Vitruvius credited him with the invention of Corinthian capitals and spoke of “the elegance and delicacy of his chisel” when
Ill. 1. Terracotta and bronze statuettes representing Aphrodite
referring to his art as a sculptor (De Architectura,
of the Genitrix type. Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Book IV, 1). Dionysius of Halicarnassus compared
Ill. 2. Aphrodite known as “Venus Genitrix”, Roman, late 1st century - early 2nd century AD, Parian marble, H.: 164 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. MR 367.
his style to that of the orator Lysias “because of his finesse and grace”. With this sculpture of
Aphrodite, Callimachus displayed a perfect blend
Callimachus’ Aphrodite was extremely popular in
of the classical balance theorised by Polyclitus
Antiquity, as shown by the many copies that still
and the more precious and mannerist style that
exist today. It was so popular that Julius Caesar
developed on the site of the Acropolis, that can
apparently asked the sculptor Arcesilaus to craft
also be found in the sculptures of Diana, Hestia
a terracotta copy for the temple he dedicated to
and Aphrodite adorning the east pediment of the
Venus Genitrix, the “ancestral mother”, in 46 BC.
Parthenon (Ill. 7).
The temple and sculpture stood in his new forum in Rome (Ill. 8). Julius Caesar and the emperors who came after him claimed to descend from the Trojan hero Aeneas, son of Aphrodite, the Venus of the Latin people. They thus established a cult to her. In AD 137, coins bearing the effigy of Sabina, wife of Hadrian, also featured a representation of Venus Genitrix, based on the same model as our sculpture
Ill. 6. “Nike Adjusting her Sandal”, frieze that encircled the temple of Athena Nike, southern side, Greek, ca. 420-410 BC,
marble. Acropolis Museum, Athens, inv. no. 973.
Our sculpture was located in Rome, in the gardens
Ill. 7. Hestia, Diana and Aphrodite, figures K, L and M of
of Villa Pamphilj, from the second half of the
the east pediment of the Parthenon, Greek, ca. 447-433 BC,
17 th century. There is a print representing the
marble, W.: 130 cm. British Museum, London.
sculpture, restored as Euterpe, Muse of music, holding a flute in each hand, in a book by Giovanni G. de Rossi (Ill. 10). Villa Pamphilj is a Roman palace dating back to the 16th century. It belonged to the Della Rovere family and then, at the beginning of the 17 th century, the Aldobrandini family. It then passed to the Pamphiljs in 1647, when Olimpia Aldobrandini wed Camillo Pamphilj. It is
Ill. 8. Ruins of the temple of Venus Genitrix, in Caesar’s forum in Rome. Ill. 9. Denarius with on the back, Venus Genitrix with the inscription “VENERI GENETRICI”, silver, 3.46 gr.
unknown when the sculpture came to adorn the gardens of the palace.
In Volume 4 of his Musée de Sculpture antique
et moderne (“Museum of antique and modern sculpture”), the Comte de Clarac described it, in these gardens, in 1850. He recognised, in the statue of Euterpe, a Venus Genitrix, and commented that the head, the top of the bosom, the arms, the flutes, the lower part of the drapery and the feet were modern restorations (Ill. 11). Our sculpture then resurfaced in Paris in 1910, when Dr B. and Mr C.’s collection was sold by the Lair-Dubreuil auction house (Ill. 12). At that time, it was completely divested of its modern additions, except for the lower part of the drapery and the feet (Ill. 13). Sold as lot no. 39 of that sale on 19 May 1910, it was then added to another French private collection, in which it
Ill. 11. Comte de Clarac, Musée de sculpture antique et
remained throughout the 20th century until the
moderne (“Museum of antique and modern sculpture”),
Vol. 4, Paris, 1850, p. 72, no. 1288b, Plate 632c.
Ill. 10. Our Aphrodite, restored as Euterpe, in Giovanni G. de Rossi, Villa Pamphilia [...] (“Villa Pamphilj ...), Rome, s. a. [1650/1700], Plate 4 (Euterpe. Dulci loquis calamos Euterpe flatibus urget). Ill. 12. Sales catalogue for the collection of Dr B. eand of Mr C., Lair-Dubreuil auction house, 19 May 1910, lot 39.
Publications: - G. G. de Rossi, Villa Pamphilia eiusque palatium
cum suis prospectibus, statuae, fontes, vivaria, theatra, areolae, plantarum, viarumque ordines (“Villa Pamphilj and its palace with its perspectives, statues, fountains, parks, theatres and array of courtyards, plants and paths”),
Rome, s. a.
[1650/1700], Plate 4 (“Euterpe. Dulci loquis calamos Euterpe flatibus urget”). - Comte de Clarac, Musée de sculpture antique
et moderne (“Museum of antique and modern Ill. 13. S. Reinach, Répertoire de la statuaire grecque et
sculpture”), Vol. 4, Paris, 1850, p. 72, no. 1288b,
romaine (“Catalogue of Greek and Roman statuary”),
Vol. 4, Paris, 1910, p. 198, no. 4.
- J. J. Bernoulli, Aphrodite (“Aphrodite) Leipzig, 1873, p. 87, no. 4. - S. Reinach, Répertoire de la statuaire grecque
et romaine (“Catalogue of Greek and Roman Statuary”), Vol. 1, Paris, 1897, p. 342, no. 3. - S. Reinach, Répertoire de la statuaire grecque
et romaine (“Catalogue of Greek and Roman Statuary”), Vol. 4, Paris, 1910, p. 198, no. 4. - R. Calza, ed., Antichità di Villa Doria Pamphilj (“Antiques of Villa Doria Pamphilj”), Rome, 1977, p. 43, no. 10, Plate 9 (according to G. G. de Rossi). - M. Brinke, Kopienkritische und typologische
Untersuchungen zur statuarischen Überlieferung der Aphrodite Typus Louvre-Neapel (“Critical and typological investigation of the statuary tradition of the Louvre-Naples type of Aphrodite”), Hamburg, 1991, p. 171f., no. G44, and p. 202, no. G102.
HEAD OF HERCULES ROMAN, 1 S T -2 ND CE NTU RY A D
MARBLE UPPER LIP RESTORED
HEIGHT: 36 CM.
WIDTH: 29 CM.
DEPTH: 26 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF CARDINAL A. PERETTI DI MONTALTO (1571-1623), VILLA MONTALTO, ROME. THEN AT CHÂTEAU DE MARTINVAST, FRANCE; PROBABLY ACQUIRED BY BARON ARTHUR DE SCHICKLER (1828-1919). THEN PASSED DOWN AS AN HEIRLOOM.
This imposing marble head represents the
openings and the animal’s ears. Finally, the majestic
demi-god Hercules wearing the skin of the
mane is crafted on the back of Hercules’ head,
Nemean lion. Hercules, son of Zeus and his lover
through subtle curls of different thickness, giving it
Alcmene, appears young, with a broad neck, square
an impression of matter and displaying the artist’s
jaw and straight nose. His chin is tilted upwards,
his gaze powerful. Large eyes and prominent brow
Through a drawing in the Codex Montalto, a
lines give our portrait considerable poise. His hair is
work listing the sculptures in the collection of
wavy, tucked behind his ears, while thick sideburns
Cardinal A. Peretti di Montalto, we know that
frame his jaw. Hercules is wearing the skin of the
our head was once part of a larger sculpture
Nemean lion as a helmet. Mouth open, the teeth are
(Ill. 1). Then, Hercules was represented standing, in
delicately represented over his forehead. The skin
heroic nudity, wearing the skin of the Nemean lion
of the neck falls gently down the nape of Hercules’
tied across his shoulders, one fold entwined around
neck. On his head is represented the muzzle, the eye
his left arm. In his right hand, he held his olive wood
club, while in his left, he carried the apples of the
only a true hero could accomplish. The first was to
Hesperides, two of his main attributes. In a sway
kill the Nemean lion, a monstrous animal with an
of the hips commonly known as contrapposto, his
invulnerable skin that was terrorising the people of
left leg was flexed while the right was straight,
Nemea, in the valley of the Peloponnese. To kill it,
bearing the weight of the entire body. The balance
Hercules first released several arrows, in vain. He
of the sculpture was ensured by a tree trunk against
then attacked the animal with his sword and failed
which the demi-god was leaning.
again. In the forest, he crafted a club with an olive branch to knock the lion out, but, once again, he was unsuccessful. Finally, having found the beast’s cave, Hercules blocked one entrance and laid in wait. He then strangled it with his bare hands, suffocated it and used its own claws to skin it. Proud of his son, Zeus then created the constellation of Leo. Emerging victorious from his first labour, Hercules then slipped on the lion skin, granting him great protective powers. The demi-god was frequently represented over the centuries in heroic nudity, wearing only the lion skin as a helmet, tied around his shoulders,
Ill. 1. Codex Montalto, 1615-1655, folio 26.
or simply lying near him. A magnificent example currently conserved at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
The skin of the Nemean lion is a reference to the
in Copenhagen represents Hercules standing, in
first of the twelve labours of Hercules. According
contrapposto, wearing the Nemean lion skin on his
to Hesiod, Juno, jealous of the affair her husband,
head (Ill. 2). Another portrait of the demi-god with
Zeus, had had with Hercules’ mother, took her
the lion skin is conserved at the Antikensammlung,
vengeance by driving the young demi-god insane.
the museum of antiquities in Berlin (Ill. 3). Hercules’
Consumed by madness, Hercules killed his wife
image was also widely used in official portraits
and children. To expiate his crime, Juno placed him
throughout the centuries. Represented with the
under the orders of his enemy, Eurystheus. Jealous
attributes of Hercules, particularly the lion skin
of Hercules’ strength and afraid that he would
and club, sovereigns thus showed their power and
take his place on the throne of Argos, Eurystheus
physical strength. From the Hellenistic era, kings
ordered him to carry out twelve titanic labours that
such as Alexander the Great and Mithridates VI
Eupator had themselves represented as Hercules.
Significant examples are currently conserved at the
Montalto, our head of Hercules belonged to the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the
collection of Cardinal Alessandro Damasceni
Louvre museum in Paris (Ill. 4-5).
Peretti di Montalto (1571-1623), great nephew of Pope Sixtus V. It was probably conserved in Villa Montalto in Rome, a dwelling that the pope had built on the heights of Quirinal Hill, at the site of the current Roma Termini train station. Amidst the vines stood the villa, which harboured a fabulous collection of sculptures and various artworks, some pieces of which are now conserved in the most renowned museums in the world. The
Ill. 2. Hercules (detail), Roman, 1st-2nd century AD, marble,
dwelling was destroyed in the 19th century.
H.: 167 cm. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, inv. no. 484. Ill. 3. Hercules, Roman, 2nd century AD, marble, H.: 34 cm. Antikensammlung Museum, Berlin, inv. no. 188.
Our sculpture was also part of the SchicklerIll. 4. Alexander the Great as Hercules, Greek, Hellenistic,
Pourtalès collection, housed at the Château
4th-3rd century BC, marble. Metropolitan Museum of Art,
New York (on loan), inv. no. L.2014.62.3.
Ill. 5. Mithridates VI Eupator, Roman, 1st century AD, marble,
France. The château, dating back to the
H.: 35 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. Ma 2321.
Middle Ages, was acquired by Baron Arthur de Schickler (1828-1919), banker of the Prussian royal family. The Schickler dynasty, originally from Switzerland, settled in France during the Bourbon Restoration. Baron Arthur de Schickler bought the Château de Martinvast in 1867 and accumulated a
magnificent collection of pieces, each more varied than the last, from France, Italy and Germany. The eclectic collection contained archaeological items of prestigious provenance, 16th century tapestries and even portraits by Horace Vernet. The baron’s daughter, Marguerite de Schickler, married Count Hubert de Pourtalès, member of the Protestant aristocracy and grandson of Count James de Pourtalès-Gorgier, Chamberlain of the King of Prussia and owner of one of the most gorgeous collections of antiques and paintings of his time. Hubert and Marguerite de Schickler-Pourtalès and their descendants followed in the footsteps of their ancestors. Probably acquired by Baron Arthur de Schickler, our sculpture thus remained in the fabulous Château de Martinvast for over a century.
Château de Martinvast, 1880.
FRAGMENT OF A FUNERARY STELE GREEK, ATTIC, 4 T H CENTU RY BC
HEIGHT: 66 CM.
WIDTH: 35 CM.
DEPTH: 20 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN A FRENCH PRIVATE COLLECTION. PASSED DOWN WITHIN THE SAME FAMILY FROM THE 1950S.
This beautiful fragment of a bas-relief portrays a
is short and curly, baring his face and neck. His
man in a seated position. He is wearing a himation,
expression is absolutely serene, and despite the
the traditional Greek garment, which is draped
lifelike appearance of the modelled flesh, this feels
around his body, covering his shoulders and right
like an idealised portrait.
arm. There are triangular folds over his torso, and our figure is catching the folds that are slipping due
By its format and style, we are able to recognise
to his seated position with his left arm. The relief
in this fragment an Athenian funerary stele from
of the clothing contrasts with the bared left arm,
the Classical period. These bas-relief sculptures
which comes out of the frame towards us, before
marked the placement of graves and were used for
resting on his thighs. The manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face is uplifted,
the offerings and cult given to the deceased, whom
gazing at a point towards the fragmentary left side
they recalled by their name and image. These steles
of the relief. He has a classical Athenian face, with
emerged as early as the Archaic period and were
a round, heavy chin, full lips, round cheeks and
originally high and narrow, often surmounted by a
large eyes framed by prominent eyelids. His hair
sphinx or a decorative palmette. The deceased were
represented standing, in relief or simply engraved or
Our fragment is perfectly in line with this tradition.
painted (Ill. 1). In the 5th century BC, tastes evolved,
Our man is resting his back against the remainder
bringing about larger steles that took the form of a
of the right pilaster of the naiskos in which he was
naiskos, or small temple surrounded by pilasters and
housed. The direction of his face tells us that at
surmounted by a pediment (Ill. 2). The larger space
least one other person was next to him, and he was
made it possible to represent the deceased sitting.
favouring them with a farewell glance. The deceased
Over time, these steles became larger and larger,
is often the person represented seated, exchanging a
and from the 4th century BC, whole family groups
handshake with a living family member. The gesture
were sculpted in relief (Ill. 3).
symbolised both a farewell and the link that persists after death. By observing the position of the arms on our fragment, we can guess that it portrayed that very gesture. Complete steles show handshakes that place the arms in the same position as that of our figure’s (Ill. 4). In this farewell scene, the expression of pain is discreet, but our sculpture is imbued with melancholy. These same codes and atmosphere
Ill. 1. Stele (grave marker) of a youth and little girl, Greek, Attic,
ca. 530 BC, marble, H.: 423.4 cm. Metropolitan Museum of
can be observed in many Attic steles from the 4th century BC (Ill. 5-7).
Art, New York, inv. no. 11.185a-d,f,g,x. Ill. 2. Stele of Hegeso, Kerameikos cemetery, Athens,
ca. 410-400 BC, marble, H.: 149 cm. National Archaeological Museum, Athens, inv. no. 3624.
Ill. 5. Funerary stele with a man and a seated woman, Greek, Attic, marble, H.: 107 cm. Musée d’A rchéologie Méditerranéenne, Marseille. Ill. 6. Fragmentary funerary stele, Greek, Attic, ca. 340 BC, marble, H.: 55.8 cm. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ill. 3. Stele (grave marker) of Lysistrate, Greek, Attic,
inv. no. 948.229.2
ca. 350-325 BC, marble, H.: 113.7 cm. Metropolitan Museum of
Ill. 7. Funerary stele, Greek, Attic, ca. 330 BC, marble,
Art, New York, inv. no. 06.287.
H.: 98 cm. J. P. Getty Museum, Los Angeles, inv. no. 73.AA.122.
Ill. 4. Funerary stele of Thraseas and Euandria, Greek, Attic,
ca. 340-350 BC, marble, H.: 160 cm. Antikensammlung Pergamonmuseum, Berlin, inv. no. Sk738.
Our sculpture is made of a white, rather translucent marble, with average sized crystals. It is very likely Pentelic marble, which was traditionally used in Athens. The marble is covered by a pink hued deposit, a testament to its long sojourn beneath the earth. Combined with its fragmentary aspect, this gorgeous patina tells of the passing of time and the long history of the sculpture, part of a French private collection from the 1950s.
TORSO OF HATHOR E GYP T IAN, NEW KINGDOM, 1 8 T H DYNA STY, CA . 1 550-1 292 BC
HEIGHT: 50 CM.
WIDTH: 35 CM.
DEPTH: 27 CM.
PROVENANCE: WITH THE ART DEALER R. JACQUEROD, ZURICH. ACQUIRED BY WERNER CONINX (1911-1980), ZURICH, FROM THE ABOVE ON 2 JULY 1952. THEN CONSERVED AT THE CONINX MUSEUM, ZURICH, FROM 1986. WITH FORGE & LYNCH, LONDON, BEFORE 2002, THEN WITH RUPERT WACE ANCIENT ART, LONDON, IN 2003. THEN IN A LADY’S PRIVATE COLLECTION, ROME, ACQUIRED BEFORE 2004.
This magnificent granodiorite torso represents the
delicately sculpted breasts jut from her chest. Her
goddess Hathor, the most important deity of the
bust is marked with fine incisions representing
Egyptian pantheon, whose name means “cosmic
what could be a menat necklace, one of the goddess’
domain of Horus”. Wife of Horus, she was originally
most important attributes. The menat necklace,
the goddess of the sky and Mother Goddess. She
made of beads and small counterpoises, was an
was also known as the goddess of love, music and joy,
artefact protecting against bad luck. It could also be
presiding over dances and banquets. In Egyptian
held in the hand and used as a musical instrument,
iconography, Hathor was represented either as a
as demonstrated by the priests in Hathor’s temples.
cow or a woman with cow ears, with horns framing
Hathor is also wearing delicately carved bracelets
a solar disc. Our torso represents here the goddess
at the top of her arms, consisting of vertical lines
as a woman. Fragment of a larger sculpture, she was
framed by two horizontal strips. Two thick curtains
represented from head to toe, arms resting along
of hair remain of her hairstyle, cascading over her
her sides or hands on her thighs. Small, round,
shoulders. The strands are stylised through fine
vertical lines delicately carved in the stone while,
The cult of Hathor developed over the centuries,
behind, her hair falls over her shoulder blades.
particularly in the royal sphere, where she played the
The goddess’ back bears a scroll with an engraving
role of nurse of the pharaohs. In the private sphere,
meaning “Hathor, mistress of the sky and sovereign
she was worshipped as “mistress of the West”,
[of all the gods]”. This inscription recalls the
welcoming the deceased to their new existence
goddess’ status as main deity of the Egyptian
in the afterlife. She was mainly worshipped by
women because of her triple role as wife, mother and lover. Her cult became so widespread that
Our exquisitely fine sculpture could be compared
many representations of her developed in various
to two important works conserved at the museum
art forms. In the field of religion, sistra, musical
in Luxor, Egypt and the Egyptian Museum in
instruments, emerged. They served to appease the
Turin, Italy. Also dated to the New Kingdom,
goddess during religious ceremonies. Sistra were
they represent the goddess Hathor in her womanly
shaped like rattles and essentially decorated with
guise, carrying the solar disc between her two
a portrait of the cow eared Hathor wearing the
horns. As in our sculpture, she is wearing a wig and
menat necklace and a wig with two large sections
various pieces of exquisitely carved jewellery, again
of hair cascading over her shoulders. A magnificent
showing the great dexterity of the artists of the time
example of a sistrum is currently conserved at the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (Ill. 3). In the field of architecture, the goddess inspired the creation of Hathor capitals. This specific type of capital represents Hathor’s face from the front, with cow ears and her emblematic hairstyle. Decorating two or four faces of the capital, this particular style referred to her status as cosmic goddess governing the world, face turned to all four cardinal points. The most prestigious examples of Hathor capitals are those of the temple of Hathor in Dendera, Egypt (Ill. 4-5).
Ill. 1. Hathor, Egyptian, New Kingdom, 19th dynasty, granodiorite, H.: 154 cm. Luxor Museum, Luxor.
The importance of our sculpture is also highlighted
Ill. 2. Hathor, Egyptian, New Kingdom, 18th dynasty, basalt.
by its very material – granodiorite. The dark stone,
Museo Egizio, Turin, inv. no. C.0694.
with its grey and white hues, was widely used in Pharaonic Egypt. It was a particularly hard stone,
the use of which is an additional testament to the
Our sculpture was sold by the Zurich art dealer
artist’s dexterity. The artist was able to finely
R. Jacquerod to Werner Coninx (1911-1980)
sculpt the lines of the wig, as well as the jewellery
on 2 July 1952. Coninx was a painter and art
adorning the goddess’ arms and neck. This unique
collector. After his death, our torso and all his
stone was used over the centuries for various
collection was conserved at Coninx Museum in
representations of deities (Ill. 6), public figures
Zurich. Established in the old house of Coninx,
and even, centuries later, the renowned Rosetta
from 1986, the museum was home: to nearly
Stone (Ill. 7).
14,000 works from the artist’s private collection. Our torso was exhibited alongside tribal African sculptures and paintings by Old Masters and Swiss artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. It then joined the stock of two English art dealers before settling in Rome as part of a lady’s private collection from 2004.
Ill. 3. Naos sistrum with the name of Apries, Egyptian, Saite period, faience, H.: 34.7 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 17.190.1959. Ill. 4-5. Hathor capitals in the temple of Hathor, Egyptian, Ptolemaic period, Dendera.
Ill. 6. Statue of the Goddess Sakhmet, Egyptian, New Kingdom, granodiorite, H.: 210 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 15.8.2. Ill. 7. Rosetta Stone,
granodiorite, L: 112.3 cm. British Museum, London, inv. no. EA24.
BUST OF A JULIOCLAUDIAN PRINCESS ROMAN, JULIO-CL A UDIA N PERIOD, 1 S T CENTU RY A D
MARBLE NOSE, PART OF THE CHIGNON, NECK AND PEDESTAL FROM THE 18 TH CENTURY
HEIGHT: 73 CM.
WIDTH: 45 CM.
DEPTH: 26 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMER EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION SINCE THE LATE 18 TH CENTURY, BASED ON THE RESTORATION TECHNIQUE. FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF A DOCTOR, TOURCOING, NORTHERN FRANCE, ACQUIRED IN 1970â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1980. PASSED DOWN WITHIN THE SAME FAMILY.
This large bust represents a middle-aged woman.
as delicate as it is intricate. Her ears are left visible
Her oval-shaped face is emphasised by large,
while her wavy hair, pulled back, is separated on top
deeply carved, almond-shaped eyes, surmounted by
of her head by a central parting. Two plaits finally
delicately arched eyebrows, which create a subtle
meet at the nape of her neck, forming a double link
contrast with her eyes. Her fine features draw
for the chignon, which is made up of four plaits. A
attention to her long nose, restored later, and fine,
few dainty curls have escaped from it.
close lipped mouth. The few wrinkles lining her face
This head is set onto a Roman period bust dressed
add a touch of originality to the bust, indicating that
in a drapery with long folds, recalling the stola, a
this Roman woman is middle-aged. Her face, with
long, feminine dress worn by Roman women.
its almost severe expression, is framed by a hairstyle
The pedestal, is from the 18th century and identifies
the model as Agrippina. While the portrait is
conserved at the Louvre Museum in Paris (Ill. 4).
similar to busts of the empress, it also resembles
Agrippina the Younger (AD 15-59), daughter of
the portraits of other princesses from the
Agrippina the Elder, was sister to Caligula, wife
Julio-Claudian dynasty such as Antonia the Younger
to Claudius and mother to Nero. Her portraits
and Agrippina the Elder. Antonia the Younger
are inspired by those of her mother, with the same,
(36 BC-AD 37) was the youngest daughter of
sometimes severe, shape of face, particularly for the
Mark Antony and Octavia, the favourite niece of
head conserved at the Louvre Museum in Paris
Augustus and the mother of Claudius. The statues
(Ill. 5). On a bronze sestertius struck during the
and busts in her image have hairstyles similar to that
reign of her brother Caligula and conserved at
of our bust, particularly with the detail of the four
the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Agrippinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
plait chignon (Ill. 1), and an oval face with carved
hairstyle is practically identical to that of our
almond-shaped eyes and austere features, as in the
portrait, with curls escaping her chignon (Ill. 6).
portrait conserved at Villa Poppaea, Italy (Ill. 2).
Ill. 3. Bust of Agrippina the Elder, Roman, 1st century AD, marble, H.: 41 cm. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Venice, Ill. 1. Portrait of Antonia the Younger, Roman, 1st century AD,
inv. no. 183.
marble, H.: 54 cm. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Venice, inv. no. 243. Ill. 2. Head of Antonia the Younger, Roman, 1st century AD, marble, H.: 32.5 cm. Villa Poppaea, Torre Annunziata, inv. no. 71442.
granddaughter to emperor Augustus, wife to Germanicus and mother to Caligula. Her portraits show a middle aged woman, also with a hairstyle similar to that of our portrait (Ill. 3), and a face that is just as severe, as can be seen in the portrait
Ill. 4. Head of Agrippina the Elder, Roman, 1st century AD, marble, H.: 36 cm. MusĂŠe du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. MA 1271.
Ill. 5. Head of Agrippina the Younger, Roman, 1st century AD, marble, H.: 26 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. MA 1232.
Ill. 7. Bust of a woman, Roman, 1st century AD, reign of Tiberius, marble, H.: 42.4 cm. Laténium, Neuchâtel, inv. no. 489.
Ill. 6. Sestertius with Agrippina, Roman, ca. AD 37-41, bronze, D.: 39 mm. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, inv. no. 35.221.
Thus, using these portraits, we can accurately date ours to the Julio-Claudian dynasty. It could represent one of these princesses, but it could also be the portrait of a woman of high society, whose features were sculpted to emulate those of women in the imperial family to show her lofty status. It was common for the aristocratic elite to imitate physical traits and hairstyles, and their portraits, arrayed within their dwellings, served to assert their social position and show their wealth. This was the case of the Dame of Avenches (Ill. 7). The portrait, dated to the reign of Tiberius during the Julio-Claudian dynasty, represents a young Roman woman whose hairstyle probably copied that of a princess or empress. It’s the same case for a portrait conserved in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, where an unknow woman used some physical traits of a woman from the Julio-Claudian dynasty (ill. 8).
Ill. 8. Head of a woman, Roman, 1st century AD, marble, H.: 25 cm. Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, inv. no. St. 3195.
FARNESE HERCULES ROMA N, 2 ND CENTU RY A D
MARBLE HEAD RESTORED IN THE 18 TH CENTURY
HEIGHT: 55 CM.
WIDTH: 21 CM.
DEPTH: 16 CM.
PROVENANCE: IN AN EUROPEAN COLLECTION FROM THE 18 TH CENTURY BASED ON THE RESTORATION TECHNIQUES. THEN IN AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION FROM THE 1950S.
This statue of a middle-aged man in a resting
and ultimately devised this new position.
position depicts the demi-god Hercules in heroic
Although his head is modern, the craftsmanship
nudity. Its statuary type is that of the Farnese
is of high quality, reminiscent of late Hellenistic
creations. His face and thoughtful, serene expression
His left leg is forward, slightly flexed, while his
respect the codes for the representation of the demi-
supporting leg, the right, is tensed. The position
god in statues of this type (Ill. 1). Hercules is hiding
tilts his hips significantly, drawing attention to the
his right hand behind his back and, although it is
prominent muscles of our man’s torso. The inclined
now missing, based on the Farnese Hercules type,
line of his hips contrasts with the line of his shoulders,
we can imagine that he was once holding the apples
giving the body a pronounced ‘S’ shape. This
from the Garden of the Hesperides (Ill. 2). His left
position, also known as contrapposto, is a Greek
arm rests on a rocky mass – a club – cushioned
invention from the 5th century BC, introduced by
with the Nemean lionskin, his main attributes.
the sculptor Polyclitus. At the time, he was looking
The lionskin reflects the skill and agility of the
for the way to perfectly represent the human body
statue’s first sculptor. The fur, the tooth lined maw,
the eyes and the dangling paws are incredible in
The Farnese Hercules type, representing Hercules
their precision and the delicacy with which they
in heroic nudity, right arm behind his back, the
were executed. They add exceptional detail to the
apples from the Garden of the Hesperides in his
hand, and left arm resting on his lionskin covered club, was a representation that was much admired in Antiquity. It represents the moment in which the hero, tired after his twelve Labours, allowed himself a moment of rest, leaning on his club and bearing the symbols of his first and penultimate Labours. Our statue thus offers a visual summary of the hero’s journey.
Ill. 1. Statuette of Hercules resting, Greek, 3
or Roman replica from the early imperial period, bronze,
The original model of this statue was created by the
H.: 42.5 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no BR 652.
Greek sculptor Lysippus of Sicyon, who practised
Ill. 2. Hercules resting, Roman, 1 -2
his craft in the late 4th century BC. This statue,
century AD, marble,
H.: 121 cm. Galleria Spada, Rome, inv. no. 342.
which was originally made of bronze and is now lost, is known to us through its many copies, including
Hercules was the son of Zeus and one of his
colossal statues and statuettes replete with details
mistresses, Alcmene. From the moment he was
and emotion such as ours. With the Farnese
born, Hera, Zeus’ wife, made him the focal point
Hercules type, the sculptor placed the hero’s body
of her jealousy. One night, she sent two snakes to
in three dimensional space. To see the statue in
the cradle of the young Hercules to kill him, but,
its entirety and understand its story, the viewer
endowed with truly ‘Herculean’ strength, he killed
must walk around it, particularly to discover the
them with his bare hands. Years later, still obsessed
apples. Whether by its mystery or depth, our statue
with revenge, Hera drove Hercules mad. He killed
is intriguing. Many copies portray the Farnese
his wife, Megara, and his sons. Upon the order of the
type Hercules, the most famous of which is the
Pythia, to atone for his crimes, he placed himself in
Farnese Hercules from the eponymous collection
the service of his enemy, Eurystheus. He entrusted
that gave the statuary type its name, conserved at
Hercules with the renowned twelve Labours, the
the National Archaeological Museum in Naples
first of which was to kill the Nemean lion, which
(Ill. 3). Other examples of statuettes of the Farnese
had an invulnerable skin, and the eleventh of which
type Hercules are conserved in prestigious
was to bring back apples from the Garden of the
European museums such as the Musée Saint
Hesperides, guarded by Ladon, a serpent like
Raymond in Toulouse (Ill. 4) and the Agora
dragon with a hundred heads.
Museum in Athens (Ill. 5).
Ill. 3. Farnese Hercules, imperial period, marble, H.: 317 cm. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, inv. no. 6001. Ill. 4. Hercules resting, Roman, 2nd century AD, marble, H.: 62 cm. MusĂŠe Saint-Raymond, Toulouse, inv. no. RA. 115.
Ill. 5. Hercules resting, Roman, 3rd century AD, marble, H.: 37.1 cm. Agora Museum, Athens, inv. no S.1241.
Our statue was part of a private European collection during the 18th century. In those times, it was common to recreate the heads of headless statues. The addition of the head is thus an integral part of the history of our Hercules and even enables us to date its restoration. The sculpture was then added to an American private collection from the 1950s.
BUST OF LYSIAS ROMAN , 1 S T - 2 ND CENTU RY A D
HEIGHT: 42 CM.
WIDTH: 28 CM.
DEPTH: 22 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF THE HALLIDAY FAMILY, GLENTHORNE HOUSE, NORTH DEVON, ENGLAND, CERTAINLY SINCE THE 19 TH CENTURY. THEN IN THE COLLECTION OF SIR CHRISTOPHER ONDAATJE (1993-), WHO BOUGHT THE HALLIDAY FAMILY’S ESTATE AND COLLECTION IN 1984.
The quality of this marble bust is exceptional. Its
temples, as well as his medium length beard, which
realism and expressiveness are particularly striking.
covers the lower part of his face. The features of
It represents a middle-aged man with a thin, long
our portrait are extremely distinct and express both
face. His cheekbones are particularly high and
wisdom and intelligence.
prominent, contrasting with his sunken cheeks in an exquisite play of relief. His face is animated
This melancholic expression and very distinctive
by his small, almond-shaped eyes, deep-set and
physiognomy make it possible to identify the famous
accentuated by his eyelids. His brow line, heavy and
Greek orator Lysias. Born in Greece in 458 BC
slightly drooping, causes light and shadows to play
(or 440 BC, depending on the source), Lysias was
across his eyelids, giving him a melancholic, pensive
a logographer, a professional orator, who penned
look. At the corners of his eyes, slight wrinkles
accusations and pleas for others. Compelled to leave
confirm his advanced age. Under his broken nose,
Athens during the government of the Thirty Tyrants,
his full moustache partly hides his upper lip. His
installed by Sparta at the end of the Peloponnesian
bald head further emphasises his features and
War, Lysias became famous for his speech “Against
creates a contrast with the locks that curl over his
Eratosthenes”, which condemned the oligarchy.
He was known for his poetic writing, sometimes humorous and always accessible, as he used simple words. His writing and vocabulary were thus renowned as much for their pureness as for their effectiveness. His life and speeches are known due to ancient writings, particularly those of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who extolled Lysias’ literary
4th century AD, marble, H.: 36 cm. Museo Archeologico
work, which included no less than 233 speeches, and
Nazionale, Naples, inv. no. 6130.
praised his writing: “Lysias’ style distinguishes itself
Ill. 2. Bust of Lysias, Roman, 4th century AD, marble,
by its great pureness: it is the most perfect model of
H.: 57 cm. Musei Capitolini, Rome, inv. no. 601. Ill. 3. Bust of Lysias, marble. Achilleion Palace, Corfu.
the Attic dialect” (Critical Essays – Ancient Orators, “Lysias”, II, 1). Our portrait of Lysias most likely adorned an Other sculptures representing this mainstay of the
opulent Roman dwelling. Although the Greek
art of rhetoric enable us to confirm the identity
orators and philosophers lived centuries before, it
of our bust. In his portraits, Lysias is always
was not at all surprising to find their portraits in
represented as a middle-aged man with a flattish
the Roman Empire. These portraits, which were
head, wavy locks of hair on his temples, deep-set
used as ornaments, were particularly appreciated
almond-shaped eyes and a moustache hiding his
by Rome’s elites, as they contributed to the
upper lip. These characteristics probably originated
intellectual influence of their owners. They adorned
with a Greek model that is now lost, created upon
libraries, gardens and corridors in lavish Roman
the death of Lysias in about 380 BC as a tribute.
houses and villas and provided families and guests
The bust conserved at the National Archaeological
with conversational topics. They set the tone for
Museum in Naples (Ill. 1), from the renowned
historical, political and, especially, philosophical
Farnese collection, is identical to our portrait in
discussions and enabled their owners to show the
every way. Lysias’ name is engraved on its base,
extent of their knowledge. Finally, a high-quality
leaving no doubt as to its subject’s identity. There
portrait such as this one, ordered from a talented
are two similar examples, one in the Hall of the
sculptor, also showed its owner’s financial status.
Philosophers in the Capitoline Museums in Rome (Ill. 2) and the other in the Achilleion Palace in
Our bust was part of the prestigious English
Corfu (Ill. 3).
collection owned by the Halliday family, housed in Glenthorne manor, in the heart of Devon, overlooking the banks of the Bristol Channel (Ill. 4).
Walter Stevenson Halliday (1793-1872) had the splendid dwelling built in 1829. Passionate about Antiquity and archaeology, he went on a great trip during which he visited Italy and its treasures and told of his adventures in a journal. He probably bought this bust of Lysias during one of his journeys in the Italian peninsula, then exhibited it in his manor until he died. As he had no children, his nephew William, then High Sheriff of the county of Devon, inherited it in 1882. After
kept the manor, before putting it up for sale in 1983. The estate and all its collections were purchased by the businessman, philanthropist, adventurer
Ondaatje and his wife. Our bust of Lysias thus remained in the same location from the 19th century.
Ill. 4. Our bust in Glenthorne House, North Devon, England.
HEAD OF HERA RO MA N, 1 S T CENTU RY A D
HEIGHT: 20 CM.
WIDTH: 18 CM.
DEPTH: 17 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMER EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION SINCE THE LATE 18 TH CENUTRY, BASED ON THE RESTORATION TECHNIQUES. FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF KURT NASS, ART DEALER, ACQUIRED ON THE HAMBURG ART MARKET IN AROUND 1940. THEN IN THE COLLECTION OF PR WERNER GRAMBERG (1896-1985).
recalling the masterpieces of Greek art. Our head is
1st century AD represents the goddess Hera
also precious due to its patina, which still lingers on
wearing a diadem. The features of her oval face are
the marble. Sculpted in white marble, the left side
gentle and exquisitely sculpted, making our head
of our head still has traces where earth was once
very precious. The carved eyes are almond-shaped,
caked, showing that it was buried for several years.
framed by fine eyelids and surmounted by delicately
Centuries later, it thus still has its original patina
carved brow lines. Her gaze seems to be directed
which gives to our sculpture a particular aura, a
downwards and could have focused on an object
testament to the passing of time.
she once held in her hands. Her straight, narrow nose is set above a small mouth with thin lips, which
The sculptor paid particular attention to her
are slightly parted and seem to smile. The chin of
hairstyle. In front, her wavy hair is separated in two
our young woman is high and round, giving our
sections, each strand of which is finely sculpted,
sculpture depth and relief.
giving the hairstyle volume and depth. These
All these physical traits reflect a certain idealisation,
sections almost entirely cover her ears, revealing
only part of her earlobes. The hair on the top of her
Hera is known for her proud, jealous nature. She
head is drawn back, creating fine waves. All her
persecuted the mistresses of her husband and his
hair comes together at her neck, in what was once
illegitimate children. Over the centuries, her cult
a sophisticated chignon, which was framed by two
spread throughout the entirety of the Empire,
locks of hair cascading down the nape of her neck.
especially in Rome, where she was worshipped
Her hairstyle is further adorned with a diadem,
as the protector of married women and the future
the central feature of our portrait. It is remarkably
mothers of the city.
fine, with a pearl encrusted protruding edge, which leads us to think that originally, the diadem was quite high and lavishly decorated. As the jewellery typical of the Roman period, diadems were first worn by oriental royals. They were then adopted in Greece as symbols of power. They were also worn by numerous deities (Ill. 1). Nevertheless, the elaboration of the strands, the facial features and the pearl encrusted diadem are all characteristics
Ill. 3. Hera Farnese, Roman, 1st century AD, marble. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, inv. no. 6005.
that enable us to identify our head as that of the
Ill. 4. Idealised head, Greek, 4th century BC, marble. Museo
Nazionale Romano, Rome, inv. no. 11615.
In terms of iconography, Hera was mainly represented with a royal diadem, one of her main attributes, symbolising her status as queen of the gods. One of the most beautiful examples is the Hera Barberini, currently conserved at the Galleria Ill. 1. Head of a goddess wearing a diadem, Roman,
Chiaramonti, Vatican (Ill. 2). The majestic goddess
1st-2nd century AD, marble, H.: 23 cm. Metropolitan
is wearing a crescent shaped diadem richly adorned
Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 42.201.11.
with pearls and plant motifs. As in our portrait,
Ill. 2. Hera Barberini, Roman, 1st century AD, marble. Galleria Chiaramonti, Vatican Museums, section II, no. 14.
the goddess has dainty features and an elaborate hairstyle, particularly as regards the sculpture of
Hera, or Juno for the Romans, is the goddess of
her wavy locks. These same characteristics are
marriage, fertility and, more generally, women.
also displayed in a portrait of the goddess from
Not only was she the wife of Zeus, she was also
the Farnese collection, conserved in the National
worshipped as the queen of the Olympian gods.
Archaeological Museum in Naples (Ill. 3).
As for the two previous examples, our sculpture was probably inspired by a Greek model created centuries before. The aesthetic of the hairstyle and her idealised features were artistic markers that feature in models such as a head dated to the 4th century BC, currently conserved at the National Archaeological Museum in Rome (Ill. 4). Our head was acquired by Kurt Nass, art dealer in Hamburg in the 1940s. It was then added to the art collection of Werner Gramberg (1896-1985). A specialist in Italian sculpture, he was the director of the coins room at Hamburg museum before teaching history of art at the university of Hamburg. Our head was registered as no. 1234/35 in Werner Grambergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s collection (Ill. 5).
Ill. 5. Inventory of Werner Gramberg.
HERMAIC PILLAR WITH HERMES AS A CHILD ROMAN, 1 S T -2 ND CE NTU RY A D
GIALLO ANTICO MARBLE
HEIGHT: 14.5 CM.
WIDTH: 7.5 CM.
DEPTH: 5.5 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF HENRI MONARD, VAULT MAKER, DECEASED IN PARIS IN 1926. THEN PASSED ON AS AN HEIRLOOM, IN A PRIVATE COLLECTION, ESSONNE, FRANCE.
This delicate Roman sculpture, striking in the
giallo antico, the quintessential Roman marble,
realism of its many fine details, represents the god
characterised by its yellow glints. Archaeological
Hermes in the guise of a young child. Known as
concretions, visible on the face, the neck and the
Mercury in Roman mythology and Hermes in
hairstyle of the child, are the result of centuries
Greek mythology, this god, represented sometimes
of burial. Their presence attests to the lack of any
as a child and others as an adult, was particularly
changes and confirms that it has not been polished
appreciated and worshipped in Antiquity. One
since its discovery.
of the Olympian gods, he was celebrated as the
Our young Hermesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; face has soft, round contours.
god of trade, but also the messenger of the gods,
His round cheeks and small, almond-shaped eyes
the protector of travellers and merchants and the
brighten and animate his portrait, giving him a
guardian of crossroads.
youthful appearance. His fine, delicate nose is set
The marble used for this sculpture is the well-known
above a small, slightly open mouth. At the base
of his neck, there is a toga with delicate folds. On
name ‘Hermes’, revealing the god’s dominion over
top of his head, a raised central parting divides his
these architectural features. Although Hermes was
hair in two, while many curls frame the child’s face,
more frequently represented as an adult, there is
some even falling onto the top of his toga. Finally,
another example of the head of a young Hermes on
two small wings adorn the head of the young god,
a hermaic pillar, conserved at the Pio Clementino
also known as the “winged god”. Although Hermes’
Museum in Rome (Ill. 5). The god’s ubiquity on
wings are often represented on a helmet he wears
these pillars recalls his divine functions. Placing
to travel more quickly, as on the bronze sculpture
him in strategic locations such as borders and
conserved at the British Museum in London (Ill. 1),
crossroads was a strong symbol for the Greeks and
they can also be represented directly on his head, as
Romans, who felt protected and guided throughout
shown by another example at that museum (Ill. 2)
their private or professional journeys.
and a bronze sculpture conserved at the National Archaeological Museum at Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Ill. 3).
Ill. 3. Head of Hermes, Roman, 2nd-3rd century AD, bronze, Ill. 1. Statuette of Hermes, Roman, 1st century AD, bronze,
H.: 17 cm. Musée d’A rchéologie National, Saint-Germain-en-
H.: 6.35 cm. British Museum, London, inv. no. 1873,0820.52.
Laye, inv. no. MAN87914.
Ill. 2. Winged head of Hermes, Roman, ca. AD 120–150,
Ill. 4. Pillar depecting Hermes, Roman, 3rd century BC-
3rd century AD, terracotta. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. Sb 785.
inv. no. 1861,1127.67
Ill. 5. Head of Hermes on a bust of Hercules, Roman, 2nd century AD., marble, H.: 102 cm. Museo Pio Clementino,
Originally, this sculpted head surmounted a hermaic pillar. These served as milestones and were placed near borders or crossroads, enabling the Greeks and Romans to find their bearings. They were generally surmounted by an anthropomorphic head, very frequently that of Hermes, as for the statuette pillar conserved at the Louvre museum in Paris (Ill. 4). Moreover, the word ‘Hermaic’ is derived from the
Vatican Museums, inv. no. MV_2402_0_0.
In the Roman Empire, hermaic pillars were also used as decorative features and adorned the interiors of lavish Roman villas and domus. Gardens, corridors or sitting rooms were bedecked with these pillars surmounted by anthropomorphic heads, as for the sumptuous House of the Vettii in Pompeii, where
two hermaic pillars topped with Hermesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; head still preside over the garden (Ill. 6).
Ill. 6. Peristyle of the House of the Vettii, 1st century AD, Pompeii, Italy.
This remarkable portrait was in the collection of Henri Monard, vault maker. Passed down as an heirloom, it was in a private collection in Essonne, France, for many years.
BES EGYP T IAN, L A TE PERIOD, 664-332 BC
HEIGHT: 11.5 CM.
WIDTH: 4 CM.
DEPTH: 3 CM.
PROVENANCE: FORMERLY IN A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION, ACQUIRED IN THE 1960S. SOLD AT SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK, 7 DECEMBER 2001, LOT NO. 236. SOLD BY PIERRE BERGÉ ARCHÉOLOGIE, PARIS, 1 DECEMBER 2007, LOT NO. 442. THEN IN A LADY’S PRIVATE COLLECTION, ROME, ACQUIRED BEFORE 2009.
This statuette, striking in its vivacity, represents the
his eyes protruding, accentuated by kohl lines and
Egyptian god Bes in the guise of a grimacing dwarf.
thick, arched eyebrows. His round, large ears recall
Sculpted in serpentine, a dark, fine-grained stone
those of an ape, while the thick beard adorning the
with gorgeous green glints, it has a polished, almost
contour of his face is more reminiscent of a lion’s
glossy finish. The sculptor, demonstrating true
mane. It is finely detailed with vertical lines and
mastery over their chosen material, was meticulous
falls to the top of his back. His head is topped with
and extremely detailed in their work.
an imposing, trapezoidal headdress made up of exquisitely carved feathers.
Our Bes is naked, crouching on a small oval base, arms resting on his thighs. His stomach and
Bes’ appearance, both frightening and comical,
posterior are so large that he seems deformed. His
recalls the god’s function, as he was a protective
abdominals and pectorals are also generous and
deity, whose fearsome looks warded off evil spirits,
very clearly outlined. His features, set in a very
nightmares and all the negative aspects of daily life.
round face, are also grotesque, with a grimacing
Despite his grotesque physique, he was a jovial,
mouth that reveals his teeth. His nose is flat and
friendly god who was very popular in Ancient
Egypt. There are thus many representations of
of dancers. It is thus only natural that he was
him, in the form of protective amulets such as those
associated with such instruments. The material,
conserved at the Louvre museum in Paris (Ill. 1)
meticulousness and care taken with our sculpture
and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
make it a particularly rare and precious example of
(Ill. 2), which portray the god in exactly the same
such an object.
position as ours, though in different materials.
1550-1069 BC, stone and gold, H.: 5.45 cm. MusĂŠe du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. E10685. Ill. 2. Bes-image amulet, Egyptian, Third Intermediate Period, 1070-712 BC, faience, H.: 3.7 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 26.7.878. Ill. 3. Mirror support in the form of Bes, Egyptian, Late Period or Ptolemaic period, 664-30 BC, faience, H.: 14.2 cm. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, inv. no. 48.1537.
As the guardian of households and newborns, Bes was often represented on everyday objects such as bed legs and mirror handles (Ill. 3). Our statuette ends in a small metallic pin, which shows that it was part of a larger object, probably a sistrum, a musical instrument made up of small bells, shaken by dancers or priests and priestesses as part of the cult of Hathor. The god was frequently represented on these instruments, as shown by examples conserved at the Walters Art museum in Baltimore and Thorvaldsens museums in Copenhagen (Ill. 4-5). Bes embodies the enjoyment of life, partying and dancing and was the protector
Ill. 4. Sistrum with handle in the shape of Bes and Hathor head, Egyptian, after 30 BC, bronze, H.: 12.1 cm. Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen, inv. no. H251. Ill. 5. Naos sistrum with Bes shaped handle, Egyptian, Roman Empire, 1st-2nd century AD, bronze, H.: 17.6 cm. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, inv. no. 54.493.
Words by Violaine BarthĂŠlĂŠmy - Antoinette Schneider - Clara Prats Gladys & Ollivier Chenel Photography by Adrien Chenel Printed by Burlet Graphics With the participation of Vincent Martagex, Julien Blanc and Kirsten Marson (traduction). The pictures were taken at the apartment of Adrien Chenel and the apartment of Gladys and Ollivier Chenel.
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