egyptian, greek and roman sculptures
The title Reflection was chosen to work on a number of levels.
Beyond our initial perception of intrinsic beauty, each of the works included in this catalogue has called for much contemplation and study. Antiquities not only hold up a mirror to former times, they are also a permanent source of inspiration.
These sculptures have journeyed through the ages and have many stories to tell us. There are tales of illustrious former owners who treasured them in their private collections, interpretations of their mythological symbols and sometimes even secrets contained in ancient restorations.
When photographing these sculptures we sought to bring their three-dimensional beauty to life on the page. By intentionally letting the sculptures fade into the darkness, the very essence of each work seems revealed through the light reflecting off the surface of the marble.
Our Reflection catalogue is the result of extensive research into our latest acquisitions. By striving to publish as much documentation and as many images as possible, our investigations are as constantly demanding as they are enriching. More than just inviting you to discover these timeless and aesthetically beautiful objects, we want to take you on a journey into the past by exploring each sculpture on a deeper and more fulfilling level.
We are eternally grateful to all those who support us in our work. To Alain, Chantal, the indispensable Violaine and Antoinette, our very own Vincent, Tal, Professor Olivier, Jรถrg and last but not least Florent: thank you all for being by our side.
Gladys, Adrien and Ollivier
TWISTED COLUMN R OM A N, 1 ST – 2 ND C ENT U RY AD G REY V EIN ED BIGIO CHIARO MAR B LE
HEIGHT: 142,5 CM.
DIAMETER: 19 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: FORMER COLLECTIO N O F WR IG H T S . LU DIN G TO N ( 1 9 0 0
AC Q U IR ED PR IO R TO 1 9 73 . FORM ER COLLECTION OF T H E S AN TA B AR B A RA MU S EU M O F A R T , U S A .
This elegant column is sculpted in a veined grey marble called bigio chiaro, from either Greece or Asia Minor. It is a spirally-fluted column, with the shaft wrapped in a helix pattern creating an interplay of highly graphical ascending lines. At the top, it culminates in a small astragal – an ornamental moulding made up of a rounded surface and a flat plane which creates a visual break as the spiral ascends. This column was part of the collection of the philanthropist and lover of antiquities Wright S. Ludington (1900 – 1991). At Wright S. Ludington’s Villa Hesperides, Montecito, prior to 1973.
A photograph from the Ludington archives at the Santa Barbara Museum of Arts shows our column at Villa Hesperides, his Montecito residence. The column must have been acquired by 1973 at the latest, the year Ludington sold the villa. It was then moved to October Hill, his new house in Montecito, before being bequeathed along with the majority of the pieces in his collection, to the Santa Barbara Museum of Arts, of which he was one of the founders.
Wright S. Ludington in his October Hill villa, Montecito, with the column in the background, after 1973.
SCULPTOR’S MODEL E G YP TIA N , P TOL E MAIC PERIOD, CIRCA 3 8 0 – 3 0 0 B C
LIMES T O N E
HEIGHT: 10 CM.
WIDTH: 10 CM.
DEPTH: 3 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: FORMER PRIV ATE COL LEC TIO N O F B ER N AR D DA YDÉ ( 1 9 2 1 – 1 9 8 6 ) , SET DE SIG NER AND ARTIST IC DIREC T O R O F T H E FR EN C H N A T IO N A L L Y R I C THEATRES FRO M 1 9 71 TO 1 9 77, PAR IS , FR AN C E. A G IFT FR O M KIN G FA RO U K IN 1 9 5 0 .
This delicate face carved in limestone is a
beginnings of a smile. A square, flat-backed
sculptor’s model depicting a Pharaoh. The
decorative structure emerges from the
royal head is wearing a nemes decorated
head, providing a sort of framework around
with the uraeus, a cobra protecting the
the face of the Pharaoh.
This type of object is called a sculptor’s
headpiece is topped by two curled rams’
model and is generally carved from softer
horns, linking the Pharaoh to Khnum, the
stone such as limestone. They served as
ram-headed god believed to have created
trial runs made by sculptors when working
the human body. The Pharaoh is shown in
to order. They would then present their
his youth, with idealised features. The eyes
work to their client as evidence of their
are delicately carved in an almond shape
while the mouth, with fine lips, has the
As with our sculpture, we often find a grid on the back which enabled the artist to study the proportions of each part of the face and the headpiece (ill. 1). Sculptors’ models could also be used as works for artists to teach their pupils, and indeed some models that have been discovered have errors, particularly in terms of the proportions, thus proving this pedagogical purpose. Some sculptures found in temples
Ill. 3. Sculptor’s model, 30th dynasty, reign of Nectanebo II, limestone, H.: 10 cm. The State Museum of Egyptian Art, Munich, inv. No. AS 2045. Ill. 4. Sculptor’s model, 30th dynasty, limestone, H.: 9.2 cm. August Kestner Museum, Hanover, inv. No. 1951.109.
also point to the fact that they could be used as objects of worship for deities.
Our sculpture shows incredibly fine workmanship and is an exceptional example of Egyptian art from the Ptolemaic period. The features of the Pharaoh represented here and the particular shape of the uraeus link it with sculptures dating from the time of Nectanebo II, who reigned from 362 to 343 BC. Closely related examples are
Ill. 1. Sculptor’s model with a grid on the back, 30th dynasty, reign of Nectanebo II, limestone, H.: 9 cm. Private collection.
in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts as well as in The State Museum of Egyptian Art in Munich and the August Kestner Museum in Hanover (ill. 2 to 4).
Ill. 2. Sculptor’s model depicting Nectanebo II, 30th dynasty, limestone, H.: 30 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York, inv. No. 2000.637.
This sculptor’s model was part of the collection of Bernard Daydé (1921 – 1986), a former set designer and artistic director of the French National Lyric Theatres from 1971 to 1977. After carrying out an artistic mission in Egypt in 1949, he received this sculpture as gift from King Farouk, who presented it in person in Paris in 1950.
Back of our sculpture with lines for the proportions.
MONOPODIUM R OM AN, 2 ND C ENT U RY AD
MAR B LE
HEIGHT: 75,5 CM.
DEPTH: 16 CM.
WIDTH: 13 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: SOTHEBY’S LOND ON, ANONYMOUS SALE , 1 3 – 1 4 JU LY 1 9 8 1 , LO T 28 8 . FORMER AUS TR ALIA N PRIV A T E C O LLEC T IO N .
This elegant marble sculpture in the shape
leaning head – is a characteristic sequence
of a ram is part of a piece of furniture. A
in Roman creations from the imperial era.
trapezophorus designates a table leg, while
The sinewy profile of our ram softens the
ours is more precisely a monopodium – a
verticality of the support that it is backed
single foot which generally supported a
onto. From the leg to the head, the creature
round tabletop, with a small console. The
features decorative incisions creating the
back is not sculpted, indicating that it was
impression of fur. Acanthus leaves unfurl
placed against a wall.
along the side in a motif that is recurrently
Our monopodium is decorated with a
found in the Roman decorative repertoire,
protome in the shape of a ram, as indicated
by its horns, with its head leaning down
capitals and in items of furniture such as
onto its curved chest and culminating in a
monopodiums (ill. 1).
bovine hoof. The tripartite composition of the work – a single animal leg, full chest and
At the beginning of the Empire, chimeric
sculptures were complemented by glass
animals – which were symbols of the end
and silverware displayed on the table tops
of one era and the beginning of another
with great ostentation. They could also be
and thus of a change in regime – became
used as supports for statuettes of deities
a regular feature in the decorative arts.
and domestic objects of worship. Our
Among the creatures represented on table
monopodium is thus the perfect illustration
legs, griffins appeared regularly as well
of how luxury developed in the decoration
as panthers (ill. 2). Rams like ours, on the
of Roman abodes.
other hand, are a lot rarer. With their large spiral horns and bellicose nature, they are the incarnation of the force of nature. A similar example of monopodium in the shape of a goat can be found in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (ill. 3). The stylised, very curved, treatment of our monopodium is far removed from the naturalism of the examples cited above. It most likely hails from the Eastern Mediterranean and
Ill. 1. Monopodium in the shape of a panther, Roman,
illustrates the decorative taste of the
1st –2nd century, marble, H.: 78 cm. British Museum,
easternmost provinces of the Empire, which
London, inv. No. 1856,1226. 1678.
can be seen in the elegant carved swirls running up the foot and the animal’s body.
Ill. 2. Monopodium in the shape of a panther, Roman, late 1st – early 2nd century, marble, H.: 67 cm. British Museum, London, inv. No. 1805,0703. 454.
During the Hellenistic period, table legs were already considered as works of art in their own right. Following on from this heritage, the Romans from the Republican era onwards developed the same taste for richness in their interior decors. Trapezophori were a means of showing off the rank and wealth of aristocratic Roman families. These highly decorative
Ill. 3. Monopodium in the shape of a goat, Roman, 1st – 2nd century AD, H.: 89 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, inv. No. 2010.372.
STANDING PRIEST E GYP TIA N , M IDDL E KINGDOM, 1 2 TH DYNAS T Y,
CIRCA 1 991
1 78 6 BC
B AS A LT
HEIGHT: 28 CM.
WIDTH: 11 CM.
DEPTH: 10 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: FORM ER PARISIAN PRIV ATE C O LLEC T IO N O F PIER RE DER O ME, S I N C E 1 9 6 3 . THEN BEL G IAN PR IV A T E C O LLEC T IO N .
This magnificent statue depicts a priest
standing in a position of respect and
sculptures of priests in the 12th dynasty
prayer. The arms are symmetrical along
and can also be seen on the statue of
the body, with the hands laying flat
the head of the prophets Amenemhat
on the loincloth which is long and tied
Ankh at the Louvre Museum in Paris
at the waist, while the torso is naked. The
(ill. 1). Another characteristic element
pectoral muscles are shown in cursory
is the fact that the loincloth is very
fashion, which may be the result of the
geometrically shaped, forming a triangle
hardness of the basalt stone that was
at the front. A statue on display at the
used. The back rest was engraved with
Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam
hieroglyphs which remain partly visible.
shows similar traits to ours (ill. 2). It
The remains of an offering prayer can be
features the same exaggerated limbs and
seen in Hotep, but the deity to which it is
geometric garment as the depictions of
addressed is unknown.
Pharaoh Amenemhat III, although his
This sculpture is characterised by its
loincloth is flat and not pointed at the
very long arms and imposing hands with
front (ill. 3).
Ill. 1. Statue of the head of the prophets Amenemhat
Ill. 3. Statue of King Amenemhet III (1843 â€“ 1797 BC)
Ankh, Middle Kingdom, 12th dynasty, sandstone.
standing, found in the temple of Ptah in Memphis,
Louvre Museum, Paris, inv. No. E11053.
granodiorite, H.: 191 cm. Egyptian Museum at the
Ill. 2. Statue of the priest Seneb, Middle Kingdom,
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, inv. No. AM1121.
Amsterdam, inv. No. APM 309.
temples changed in status and began to house statuettes of individuals that were previously placed in tombs. Funeral rites then began to take place in temples, which brought with it the development of a new form of art and the appearance of different models of sculpture, as can be seen in our work. The upright position with the hands laid flat was also used to depict Pharaohs, as was the case with Amenemhat III. Indeed, the depiction of him as a priest was a form of public propaganda, placing him as an intermediary between the mortals and the gods.
OSCILLUM R OM A N, 1 ST – 2 ND C ENT U RY AD
MAR B LE
HEIGHT: 19 CM.
WIDTH: 14 CM.
DEPTH: 4 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: FORM ER FRENCH PRIV ATE C O LLEC TIO N O F R O G ER PEYREFFIT E ( 1 9 0 7
20 0 0 ) ,
PARIS , A C Q U IR ED B EFO RE 1 9 72 .
This magnificent marble fragment is an
The other side features a bearded satyr
oscillum sculpted on both sides. One side is
delicately sculpted in bas-relief in a wide
decorated with a theatrical mask depicting
frame. The face is also in profile, but this
a maenad in relief while the other is
time is grotesque: the nose is exaggerated,
sculpted with a satyr in bas-relief.
the forehead protruding, the eyebrows
The mask on the main side is a smiling
seemingly in a frown and also entirely
face in profile, with long locks of curly
hiding the eyes of the satyr.
hair tumbling down behind the ears and along the neck. Each lock of hair has been carved with a drill and shows great detail, demonstrating the considerable skill of the sculptor. The maenad is wearing a tall diadem, the like of which is frequently seen on the companions of Bacchus. Her face has rounded cheeks, almond-shaped eyes, a straight nose and a dimpled chin.
Roger Peyrefitte (1907 – 2 0 0 0 )
The beard is long and pointed, while the flowing hair features locks curling up over the forehead, giving the satyr a savage quality. This type of motif is found in other oscilla of similar formats, such as those preserved in the Museo Nazionale Romano in Rome, one in the Museum of Dresden or another in the
Ill. 4. Oscilla in A Dictionary of Roman and Greek
Antiquities (Rich, Payot & Rivages, Paris, 1995, p. 442).
Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna
Ill. 5. Decor of a villa with a rectangular oscillum,
(ill. 1 to 3).
1st century AD, fresco, H.: 162 cm. Miho Museum, Shiga.
Oscilla were originally objects designed to avert evil influences and hung in trees out in the fields. According to Virgil (Georgics, Book II, pp. 381 – 392), the «oscillating» Ill. 1. Back of a rectangular oscillum, Roman, 1st century AD, marble. Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome.
movement of the object, whose more sculpted side was turned to face the
Ill. 2. Oscillum with theatre masks, Roman,
field to be used for crops, was a way of
70 AD, marble, H.: 32 cm. Museum of Dresden,
encouraging growth and warding off bad
inv. No. Hm 212.
luck (ill. 4). Later, these sculptures were no longer solely attached to trees but also hung between pairs of peristyle columns in gardens or illustrated in frescoes in houses, most notably in Pompeii and Herculaneum (ill. 5).
2 century AD, marble, H.: 32 cm. Kunsthistorisches nd
Museum, Vienna, inv. No. I 119.
By then they had become purely decorative elements which were in fashion from the 1st century AD for around a hundred years. There are three types of oscillum: circular, pelta or crescent-shaped, and rectangular. Ours is rectangular and was likely placed in garden on a finely wrought column, much like the oscilla found in the House of the Golden Cupids in Pompeii (ill. 6). From an ornamental point of view, the oscilla – like the room they are housed in – are decorated with satyr masks, scenes and faces of divinities generally linked to the Dionysian universe.
Peyrefitte’s apartment in 1973, with our oscillum in the background.
Publication: R. Peyrefitte, Un Musée de l’A mour
(«A Museum of Love»), Éditions du Rocher, 1972, p. 24.
Ill. 6. Garden of the House of the Golden Cupids, Regio 6, Pompeii.
Our oscillum was part of the collection of Roger Peyrefitte (1907 – 2000), a famous French author of the 20th century. He was also a lover of ancient art, whose collection was renowned for its great quality.
HEAD OF HERMES R OM A N , L AT E 1 ST C ENT U RY AD
MAR B LE
HEIGHT: 28 CM.
WIDTH: 21 CM.
DEPTH: 22,5 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: FORM ER EUROPEAN PRIVATE C O LLEC TIO N IN T H E LA T E 1 8 T H C E N T U R Y BASED ON T H E RES TO RATIO N T EC H N IQ U E. F ORM ER COLLECTION OF CAPT AIN EDWAR D G . S PEN C ER - C H U RC H IL L ( 1 8 7 6 – 1 9 6 4) , AT HIS NORTHWIC K PA RK PR O PER T Y, EN G LA N D. SOL D AT C HRISTIE’S LOND ON , NORTHWICK PARK COLLECTION: ANTIQUITIES , 2 1 JU N E 1 9 6 5 , LO T 3 72 .
This head of a young man represents the
of locks that are in rows and slightly wavy.
god Hermes. His facial features have
This sculpture is a perfect illustration of
been idealised on a perfect oval, the
ancient classicism and shows the talent
of the sculptor through the ideal balance
such an extent that one can feel the bone
structure of the face touching underneath
the skin. The almond-shaped eyes are looking into the distance, underlined by the rounded nature of the eyelids. The long, fine nose is almost entirely preserved, which is sufficiently rare among archaeological sculptures to be worthy of note. The lips are full and fleshy and slightly apart. He has short hair made up
Northwick Park property, England.
The suppleness in the representation of the flesh and the juvenile aspect of the god links it to the work of Praxiteles, an Athenian sculptor in the mid-4th century BC, or that of his entourage. Our head is similar to the Andros-Farnese type, an example of which is on display in the museum on Andros (ill. 1), a Greek island in the Cyclades. Hermes, in heroic nudity, bears his travelling
Ill. 1. Andros-Farnese Hermes, marble, circa 10 AD.
mantle on his left shoulder. A serpent
Discovered at Paleopolis on the island of Andros.
climbs up the tree trunk that his feet are
Archaeological Museum, Andros, inv. No.245.
on, indicating that he is there in his role as a guider of souls. There are various copies in
Ill. 2. Statue of Hermes known as the «Belvedere Antinous».
Pio-Clementino Museum, Vatican, inv. No. 907.
marble from the Roman era of this type of statue and our head may well be one of them (ill. 2 and 3). This type is thought to be a variation based on the Hermes carrying the infant Dionysus discovered in Olympia in 1877 (ill. 4), and attributed to Praxiteles according to a text by Pausanias who cites it in his description of the sanctuary.
Ill. 3. Hermes Farnese, 1st century AD, marble, H.: 2m. British Museum, London, inv. N°1864,1021.1.
Ill. 4. Hermes carrying the infant Dionysus, Greek original or Roman copy based on a lost original, marble. Olympia Archaeological Museum.
This head belonged to the prestigious
collection of Captain Edward G. SpencerChurchill (1876 – 1964). In 1912, this cousin
- Christie’s London, Northwick Park
of Sir Winston Churchill inherited from
Collection: Antiquities, 21 June 1965, lot 372.
his maternal grandmother the estate of Northwick Park, as well as the collection of prints and drawings formed by the previous barons of Northwick during the 19th
formed collections himself, mostly of Oriental ceramics and Persian art but also of Classical antiquities. He sold a large number of artworks to the British Museum during his lifetime. His collection was sold by Christie’s in 19 65. Our head was lot 372 of the Antiquities sale, on Monday June 21st .
Captain Edward G. Spencer-Churchill (1876 – 1964).
HEAD OF SEKHMET E GYP T IAN, NEW KINGDOM, 1 8 T H D YN AS T Y, CIRCA 1 550 – 1 2 92 BC G RAN O DIO RITE
NO S E RES T O RED.
HEIGHT: 19 CM.
WIDTH: 17 CM.
DEPTH: 14 CM.
PRO V EN AN C E: FORMER SWIS S PRIV A T E C O LLEC T IO N , ZU RIC H , PURCHASED FROM P. ZER V U DA C H I G ALLERY IN V EV EY, S WITZE R L A N D IN T H E EA RLY 1 9 8 0 S . THEN BE LG IA N PRIV A T E C O LLEC T IO N
sculpture displays the skill of the Egyptian
graniodorite with hints of brown, shows us
artisan sculptors of the 18th dynasty, which
the face of the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet,
is seen as the golden age of Ancient Egypt.
depicted as a woman with the head of a
Sekhmet is the daughter and also the eye of
lioness. The stone is very dense and was
the sun god Ra, whom he sent out to fight his
sculpted and polished to form the animal’s
enemies. She was a warrior goddess whose
face, then chiselled to give the details of the
name meant «the powerful one». She is also
eyes, the grooves to define the volume of
known as the «wrath of Ra», personifying
the cheeks, the nose and the long whiskers.
the destructive power of the sun. She is
The overall result is very sculptural and
represented with the face of a lioness,
balanced, with great strength and precision
the Egyptians having no doubt realised
in its craftsmanship. This fragment of the
that it was the female lions who hunted.
She was a wild, fearsome goddess but one who had another side to her character: in her calmer form, she was also the protector of Egypt and of the Pharaoh, whom she guided and advised in matters of combat. Sovereigns
representations of Sekhmet, bringing them many offerings to ensure the support of this fiery-tempered goddess and to appease her by means of rituals. Sekhmet could be depicted standing or seated (ill. 1 and 2). The majority of sculptures of this goddess were attributable to Pharaoh Amenhotep III (1390 – 1352), who had a particular reverence for her. Many representations of her were found in his mortuary temple or «House
Ill. 1. Statue of Sekhmet, Egyptian, 18th dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, granodiorite, H.: 191 cm. British Museum, London, inv. No. EA84. Ill. 2. Statue of Sekhmet, Egyptian, 18th dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, granodiorite, H.: 165 cm. British Museum, London, inv. No. EA60. Ill. 3. Statue of Sekhmet, Egyptian, 18th dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, diorite, H.: 229 cm. Louvre Museum, Paris, inv. No. A2.
of Millions of Years», on the west bank of Thebes. It is estimated that it was originally home to 730 statues of Sekhmet – one seated and one standing for each day of the year. The daily rites practised before these statues accompanied the movement of the stars and the course of the sun. The statues were immense in size, as shown by the one on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris (ill. 3). Their style is very similar to that of our head, which may well be part of the same group (ill. 4). Around a hundred years after the death of Amenhotep III, his temple was left to decay and the sculptures of Sekhmet were then housed in various other sanctuaries and used by other Pharaohs.
Ill. 4. Fragment of a statue of Sekhmet, Egyptian, 18th dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, granodiorite, H.: 79 cm. British Museum, London, inv. No. EA79.
DIANA VENATRIX R OM A N, CIRCA 2 ND C ENT U RY AD MAR B LE MIN O R R E S TO RAT IO NS T O T HE NO S E AND T HE C HIN.
HEIGHT: 103 CM.
WIDTH: 45 CM.
DEPTH: 26 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: FORMER COLL EC TIO N O F A N A RT DEALER , U S A . SOLD BY SOTHEBY’S NEW YO RK, ANTIQUITIES AND ISLAMIC ART , 1 – 2 MAR C H 1 9 8 4 , LO T 73 . THEN FORMER COLLEC TIO N O F TH E EXPLO RER A N D A DV EN T U R E R J . STEPHEN FOSSETT (1944 – 2 0 0 7) A C Q U IR ED IN LO N DO N , 2 1 O C T OBE R 1 9 8 6 .
This magnificent sculpture is Diana,
with the right. She has a low bun in her
Roman goddess of hunting and twin sister
hair with locks forming a knot atop her
head – a characteristic hairstyle in Roman
It shows her upright in a walking
sculpture of the 2nd century AD.
The energy of the sculpture resides in the
hunting dog at her side. She is wearing a
fluidity of the mantle, with the himation
short chiton robe to make her movement
giving the impression of being lifted by
easier, with a himation mantle around
the wind. The folds are delicately sculpted,
her left shoulder and tied at the waist,
giving glimpses of the curves of the
as well as laced sandals. The goddess
goddess’ body. The face shows a great
was likely holding a bow in her left hand
deal of finesse and is turned to the left,
and pulling an arrow from her quiver
with a faraway look in Diana’s eyes.
She is represented here in majesty, as a
This type of representation of Diana
symbol of the beauty of nature and the
Venatrix (the huntress) is taken from a
goddess of hunting, whose arrows were
Greek original which no longer exists but
capable of punishing the offences of man.
is known via ancient writings and Roman
Our sculpture is similar to a Diana Venatrix
copies. The iconography is known as
that can be found in the Archaeological
«Rospigliosi», named after the Palazzo
Museum of Minturno, Italy (ill. 1).
Rospigliosi in Rome where a fine example of this type of sculpture can be found. One of the best known copies is housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris (ill. 2). A variation on this type shows the goddess accompanied by a stag (another animal generally associated with her) and a further example of this Diana the huntress can be seen in the Louvre Museum in Paris (ill. 3).
Ill. 1. Diana Venatrix, Roman, 1st – 2nd century AD, marble, H.: 95 cm. Archaeological Museum, Minturno.
Ill. 2. Artemis of the Rospigliosi type, Roman, 2nd century AD, marble, H.: 163 cm. Louvre Museum, Paris, inv. No. Ma 559. Ill. 3. «Diana of Versailles», Roman, 2nd century AD, marble, H.: 200 cm. Louvre Museum, Paris, inv. No. Ma 589.
Our sculpture was part of the collection of former commodities trader and explorer J. Stephen ÂŤSteveÂť Fossett. A man of means, Fossett is primarily known for his sporting exploits and is the holder of several records, making him one of the greatest adventurers of his time. He and his wife Peggy Fossett acquired a significant collection over a number of years, featuring works of art, archaeological items, paintings and more. The collection was displayed in their three residences, in California, Illinois and Colorado.
J. Stephen Fossett and Peggy Fossett.
STRIGILATED VASE R OM A N, L AT E 1 ST C ENT U RY AD MA RB LE RES T O RAT IO NS .
HEIGHT: 35 CM.
WIDTH: 52 CM.
DEPTH: 45 CM.
PRO V EN AN C E: EUROPEAN PRIV ATE CO LLEC T IO N IN 1 8 T H
– 1 9T H C EN T U RY
RES TO RATIO N T EC H N IQ U E. FORMER FRENCH PR IV A T E C O LLEC T IO N , S O U T H O F FR ANC E , IN THE SAME FAMILY S IN C E TH E 1 9 6 0 S .
This elegant, crystalline white marble
It appeared on urns and sarcophagi but
vase has a body decorated with strigils, or
also on vases that were purely decorative,
winding S-shaped lines. It sits on a small
as is the case with our piece. While
circular base and culminates in a large
most vases were generally more elongated
top that is also circular, whose edges may
and smaller, ours is different thanks to
originally have held a small lid. The handles
its slightly flattened body and large
are also decorated with strigils, giving the
size – a testimony to the skill of the sculptor.
piece a very distinctive overall impression of movement. This particular type of vase is inspired by the bronze vessels that were
de rigueur during the Roman period (ill. 1). The extended S-shaped motif was inspired by iron scrapers used by Roman athletes to wipe the sweat from their bodies after performing and thus became very popular.
Ill. 1. Crater of Mithridates V Eupator, Roman, 120 – 63 BC, bronze, H.: 70 cm. Capitoline Museum, Rome, inv. No. MC1068.
Our vase is beautifully produced and is a magnificent example of the exquisite skill of the sculptors at that time. A similar and equally impressive piece can be found in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (ill. 2). A second vase, also with a flattened body and decorated with strigils, is housed in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Venice (ill. 3).
Ill. 2. Strigilated vase, Roman, 1st â€“ 2nd century AD, marble. Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California.
Ill. 3. Strigilated vase, Roman, 1st - 2nd century AD, marble, H.: 37 cm. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Venice, inv. No. 191.
TORSO OF HERCULES R OM A N, 1 ST – 2 ND C ENT U RY AD
MAR B LE
HEIGHT: 80 CM.
DEPTH: 33 CM.
WIDTH: 70 CM.
PRO V EN AN C E: FORMER COLLECTIO N O F WR IG H T S . LU DIN G TO N ( 1 9 0 0
1 9 9 2) ,
MONTECITO, CA LIFO R N IA , A C Q U IR ED O N 3 JU N E 1 9 6 5 FROM THE FALLA N I G A LLER Y IN RO ME, IT ALY. SANTA BARBARA MUSEUM O F AR T , DO N ATED B Y T H E AB O V E- MEN T I ON E D OWNER IN 1 9 9 3 ( IN V . N O . 1 9 9 3 . 1 . 8 7) . S OL D AT SO THEBY’S NEW YORK, ANTIQUITIES: SANTA BARBARA MUSEUM OF ART, 1 4 JU N E 2 0 0 0 , LO T 6 3 .
This male torso displays Hercules in heroic
modelling of the flesh. The artist has
nudity, his shoulders covered with the
skin of the Nemean Lion. The warrior
strength and vitality of the famous
is shown here in a slight contrapposto,
Greek hero into the stone, making
with his trunk at an angle, introducing
this one of the finest representations
movement and energy into the sculpture
of Hercules. The hero is seen carrying
the skin of the Nemean Lion as a trophy
to demonstrate that he has completed
the first of his Twelve Labours. He was the
likely carrying his club on his left arm,
sculptor can be felt in the natural
as was the case in similar models (ill. 1 to 3).
This sculpture was part of the collection of Wright S. Ludington (1900 – 1991) (ill.
philanthropist based in Santa Barbara, California. Ludington was an eclectic collector, and he decorated three successive properties (Val Verde up until 1957, then Hesperides until 1973 and finally October Hill) with Oriental, Greek and Roman Ill. 1. Hercules and Cerberus, Roman Empire, marble.
works which were housed alongside the
Pio-Clementino Museum, Vatican, inv. No. 488.
modern masters such as Degas, Picasso, Matisse and Dali.
Ill. 2. Hercules, Roman Empire, marble. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, inv. No. 0504.
Ill. 3. Hercules, Roman, circa 140 – 170 AD, marble, H.: 76 cm. Skulpturensammlung, Dresden.
Ill. 4. Wright S. Ludington (1900 – 1991).
Our torso was purchased by Ludington on
Ludington was one of the founders of the
3 June 1965 from Fallani in Rome, according
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, of which
to an inventory of his acquisitions dating
he became vice-president in 1940 and then
from 1966 and preserved in the Ludington
president in 1951. He devoted the central
archives in the Santa Barbara Museum of Arts
atrium of the museum to donations from
(ill. 5). It was housed in Villa Hesperides
his own collection of classical sculptures,
(ill. 6 and 7) until Ludington moved
with over 300 works which he gave to the
to October Hill, when it was given
institution over the course of the years. Our
torso of Hercules joined the collection after
overlooking the surrounding Californian
his death in 1993.
hills (ill. 8).
Architectural Digest, January – February 1973, p. 84.
Ill. 5. Ludington Archive at the Santa Barbara Museum of Arts.
Museum of Arts.
Publications: - «The Collectors: Wright Ludington», Architectural Digest, January – February 1973, p. 83. - This work is referenced in the Arachne database
D-DAI-ROM-0123_C05 (dating from 1963).
Ill. 8. Our torso in the October Hill Villa gardens, Montecito, after 1973.
SENBEF E GYPT IAN, L AT E PERIOD, BE GIN N IN G OF THE 2 6 TH DYNAS T Y, CIRCA 664 – 66 0 B C LIMES TO N E
HEIGHT: 38 CM.
DEPTH: 22 CM.
WIDTH: 27 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: W I TH THE D EALER MAG UID SA MEDA ( 5 5 IB R AH IM PAS H A ) IN C AIRO I N T H E 1 9 5 0 S , DESCRIB ED B Y T H E EG YPT O LO G IS T J EAN YOYOTTE IN 1957 ( PER B O TH MER’S A RC H IV ES , N O . B V B 9 1 4) . IN THE COLLEC T IO N O F REN É WIT H O FS ( 1 9 1 9 – 1 9 9 7) , BRUSS ELS , FR O M 1 9 74 O R B EFO R E. SOL D BY SOTHEBY’S NEW YO R K, ANTIQUITIES , 1 0 DEC EMB ER 1 9 9 9 , L OT 229 . THEN IN A PRI V ATE C O LLEC TIO N IN N EW YO RK.
This magnificent block statue depicts a high-ranking official called Senbef, squatting with his knees around his chest and his arms laid flat. Delicately-engraved hieroglyphs can be made out on the front of his tunic and on the back rest pillar. The inscription was not quite completed since the lines of separation between the columns of hieroglyphs are only traced at the beginning of the text. Description of our sculpture by Jean Yoyotte.
The front features a call to passers-by:
benefit from their protection in the afterlife.
«Oh prophets and pure priests who have
Senbef calls the priests into the temple and
access to the temple of Osiris, Lord of
encourages them to pronounce his name to
Ro-setaou, you will be guests in this
benefit from his protection.
temple if you commemorate my name every day: Senbef, son of the divine father, priest imy-âh and prophet of Osiris, Lord of Ro-setaou, Di-Ptah-iaou, conceived by Seneb-Hor-ites, daughter of the governor of Khem Pef-tjau-[...]» The following is inscribed on the back rest:
«[The local god] of Senbef, son of the divine father, the priest imy-âh and responsible
25th – 26th dynasties, limestone, H.: 28.2 cm. Egyptian Museum, Cairo, inv. No. 37344.
for the confidential affairs of Ro-setaou, Di-Ptah-iaou, conceived by the daughter of the governor of Khem, Sene[b-Hor-ites].»
This is followed by a traditional version of the end of the Saite formula. This tells us, therefore, that this statue was placed in the temple of Osiris, Lord of Ro-stau, in the region of Giza. Block
Ill. 2. Block statue of Ankhwennefer, Late Period, 25th – 26th dynasties, limestone, H.: 46 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. No. 1993.161.
statues appeared at the beginning of the 12th dynasty during the Middle Kingdom
The raw material used – a very compact
and continued through the New Kingdom
form of limestone – was characteristic of
into the Late Period. It was the preferred
sculptures of the early 26th dynasty. The
way of depicting characters who were
attention given to the details of the body of
neither royal nor divine, in temples or tombs.
Senbef by the sculptor confirms this dating.
In temples, as was the case with Senbef, it
The body is covered in a combination
enabled the person offering the sculpture to
of a tunic and a very tight corset,
take part in the worship of the deity and to
which highlights the shape of the back,
the arms and the legs, in opposition to the
works of art, most notably primitive art,
traditional highly geometric aspect of
before being purchased at auction by a
the block statue. The tunic descends to a
private collector based in New York.
level which leaves the feet visible. The arms on the top of the statue – which would traditionally be flat – are different from one other and separated by an indent that has been carved. The realism of the artist goes as far as the nails on the hands, and the detail of the sculpture, which enhances the shape of the body, enables us to date our sculpture exactly to the reign of Psammetichus I (664 – 610 BC).
Ill. 3. Block statue of Djedbastetiufankh, Late Period, 25th – 26th dynasties, limestone, H.: 26.1 cm. Cleveland Museum of Art, inv. No. 1914.661.
Our sculpture was probably discovered in the Coptic cemetery of Nazlet el-Batran located south of the City of Giza (based on notes made by Bothmer, No. 914). According to French Egyptologist Jean
Jean Yoyotte (1927 – 2009).
Photographies of our sculpture, Bothmer archives, No. BVB 914.
Publications: - M. Lehner and Z. Hawass, Giza and
the Pyramids: The Definitive History, Chicago, 2017, p. 495.
Yoyotte, it appeared on the ancient art
- C. M. Zivie-Coche, Giza au premier
market in 1956. It then became part of the
millénaire, autour du temple d’Isis, dame
collection of René Withofs, a Brussels
des pyramides, Museum of Fine Arts,
gallery owner who acquired a number of
Boston, 1991, pp. 215-216.
HEAD OF VENUS R OMAN, 2 ND C ENT U RY AD MAR B LE
HEIGHT: 24 CM.
WIDTH: 15 CM.
DEPTH: 20 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: FORMER BELG IA N PRIV A T E C O LLEC T IO N O F ANNE AND BAUD OUIN D E G RU N N E ( 1 9 1 7 â€“ 2 0 1 1 ) S IN C E T H E EA RL Y 1 9 6 0 S , BY TRADITION, ACQ U IR ED IN T H E PA RIS IAN AR T MA RKET .
This head shows a beautiful idealised
and cascading onto the nape of the neck.
feminine face, topped with a complex head
The hair links our sculpture with the
of hair which makes it possible to identify it
Capitoline Venus, based on a Greek original
as Venus, the goddess of beauty and love.
by Praxiteles (ill. 1), and the Crouching
The smooth flesh of her face conveys the
Venus, the Greek original of which is
calm and the grandeur of the goddess. Her
attributed to the sculptor Doidalses and
small yet full lips and finely-edged eyes
inspired by Pliny the Elder (ill. 2). In these
stand out from the skin that is smooth
two types of statues, the goddess Venus is
and full of volume. In contrast, the hair is
entirely naked, bathing and either standing
sculpted in relief, with locks deeply scored
or seated. Interrupted during her ablutions,
by a drill, creating a juxtaposition of light
she turns towards the intruder and hides
and shade. The hair features a headband
her nudity with her arms. These sculptures
holding wavy locks that fall down onto the
show the goddess in movement and this is
forehead. A knot is tied on the top and the
recalled here with the angle of the neck,
rest of the hair is held in a bun around the
showing that Venus is turning around.
back of the head, with a few locks escaping
The treatment of her hair in very accented relief as well as her facial features enable us to date the head as being from the 2nd century AD. In terms of style, it can be compared with the head of the Lely Venus on display at the British Museum in London (ill. 2) or the head at the Toledo Museum of Art (ill. 3).
Ill. 3. Head of Venus, Asia Minor, circa 161 â€“ 169 AD, marble, H.: 18 cm. Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, inv. No. 1976.21.
This beautiful head was part of the prestigious Belgian collection of Count Baudouin de Grunne (1917 â€“ 2011), one of the greatest collectors of African art of the 20th century, and his wife Anne de Grunne (ill. 4). It was acquired at the beginning of the 1960s and displayed in their apartment Ill. 1. Capitoline Venus, Antonine era based on a
on the Belgian coast.
Greek Hellenistic original, marble, H.: 193 cm. Capitoline Museums, Rome, inv. No. MC0409.
Ill. 2. Venus known as Lely, Antonine era based on a Greek Hellenistic original, marble, H.: 112 cm.
Ill. 4. The lounge in the apartment of Anne and
British Museum, London, inv. No. 1963.10 - 29.1.
Baudouin de Grunne, where our head was displayed.
HARPOCRATES EGYP T, R OM AN ERA, CIRCA 1 ST C ENT U RY AD MA RB LE
HEIGHT: 43 CM.
WIDTH: 13 CM.
DEPTH: 12,5 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: FORM ER COLLECTION OF C H AR LES K. S U R S O C K, C A IR O , PR IO R T O 1 9 3 1 . SOLD BY SOTHEB Y’S LO N DO N , 4 – 5 MA Y 1 9 3 1 , LO T 8 1 . FORMER COLLECTION O F R O G ER PEYREFITTE ( 1 9 0 7 – 2 0 0 0 ) , P A R I S . SOLD BY ADER – PIC AR D – TA JA N , PAR IS , 2 6 MA Y 1 9 77, LO T 5B. FORMER FRENCH PRIV A T E C O LLEC T IO N , N IC E, S IN C E TH E N .
This delicate sculpture represents a child
meaning «the child»). Horus is the son of
standing upright, entirely naked, with its
the goddess Isis and the god Osiris.
right leg stretching forward in a walking motion. His head is shaven but there is
Representations of this deity with the
a long lock of child’s hair that falls down
traits of the child Harpocrates began in
the right side of the head, as well as the
Alexandria during the Hellenistic period,
Pschent, the double crown of Egypt
with worship soon spreading throughout
worn by the Pharaohs. He is holding his
the Greco-Roman world. During the
right index finger to his mouth in a
Roman period, this god was associated
childlike gesture. All of these symbols
with the worship of mystery due to the
allow us to identify him as Harpocrates, the
finger held to his lips, as if he was telling his
representation of the god Horus as a child
followers to hold their peace regarding the
(from Har- meaning «Horus» and -pokhrat
mysteries that had been revealed to them.
interesting one and a rare example of
iconographical Egyptian tradition which
its kind. Representations of the child
can be seen in its hieratic posture, its hair
Harpocrates usually tend towards either
and its crown. Nevertheless, the supple form
the Egyptian tradition of representation
of the body revealing the chubby features
(ill. 1 and 2) or a Greco-Roman style (ill. 3
of a child with full cheeks and a small
and 4). A small bronze sculpture housed
in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in
Greco-Roman tradition of realism in the
New York (ill. 5) is similar to ours, but is
treatment of the body.
not of the same size, quality of sculpture or
Ill. 3. Harpocrates, Roman, marble, H.: 158 cm. Ill. 1. Harpocrates wearing a double crown, Egypt,
Capitol Museum, Rome, inv. No. 646. Ill. 4. Statuette of Harpocrates, Roman, marble,
late period or Ptolemaic era, circa 664 â€“ 30 BC,
Archaeological Museum of Thessalonica, Greece,
cupreous metal, H.: 11.9 cm. Metropolitan Museum
inv. No. 844.
of Art, New York, inv. No. 10.130.1317. Ill. 2. Statuette of Harpocrates seated, Egypt, late period, 760 â€“ 332 BC, bronze, H.: 12 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, inv. No. 02.516.
Greek artistic traditions which began to blend from the Ptolemaic period and gave rise to a new form of original art. As such, our sculpture of Harpocrates is an
Ill. 5. Harpocrates wearing an Egyptian crown and carrying the club of Hercules, Egypt, 1st century AD bronze, H.: 18.5 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. No. 46.2.1.
It belonged to the Charles K. Sursock collection in Cairo which was sold in 1931 at Sotheby’s in London (ill. 6). It then became part of the private collection of Roger Peyrefitte (1907 – 2000), a famous French author of the 20th century. He was also a lover of ancient art, whose collection was renowned for its great quality (ill. 7 and 8). He published the works he owned in a 1972 book entitled Un Musée de l’A mour («A
Museum of Love», éditions Du Rocher), which featured our Harpocrates (ill. 9). Part of his collection was sold in 1977, including
Ill. 7. Roger Peyrefitte in his Parisian apartment, with his collection of antiques.
the Harpocrates which went on to feature in a private collection in Nice, where it was housed until today.
Ill. 8. Harpocrates standing on the desk.
Ill. 6. Sotheby’s London, The Collection of Egyptian,
Greek, Roman, Mediæval, & Modern Works of Art, Property of Madame M. Charles K. Sursock,
Ill. 9. Roger Peyrefitte, Un Musée de l’Amour
4 – 5 May 1931, lot 81.
(«A Museum of Love»), éd. du Rocher, 1972, p. 54-55.
Publications: - Sotheby’s London, The Collection of
Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Mediæval, & Modern Works of Art, Property of Madame M. Charles K. Sursock, 4 – 5 May, 1931. - Roger Peyrefitte, Un Musée de l’A mour
(«A Museum of Love»), éditions Du Rocher, 1972, p. 54-55. - Ader – Picard – Tajan, Roger Peyrefitte :
Sculptures en marbre antiques et d’après l’antique [...] («Roger Peyrefitte: Sculptures in ancient and ancient-style marble [...]»), Hôtel Georges V, Paris, 26 May 1977. - Connaissance Des Arts - La Valeur Des
Objets - Numéro Spécial Consacré Aux Ventes Publiques Parisiennes D’octobre 1976 à Juillet 1977 («The Value of Objects – Special Edition on Public Sales in Paris from October 1976 – July 1977»).
APHRODITE R OM AN, 4 TH C ENT U RY AD
MAR B LE M INO R RES T O RAT IO NS .
HEIGHT: 90 CM.
DEPTH: 32 CM.
WIDTH: 32 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: F ORM ER AMERICAN PRIV ATE C O LLEC TIO N O F TH E EXPLO RER A N D A D V E N T U R E R J . STEPHEN FOSSETT (1944
– 2 0 0 7) ,
C H IC A G O , A C Q U IR ED PR IO R T O 1 9 8 7 .
with suppleness, and her complexion is
Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and love.
She is fully naked, standing on her right
intensity of the polished marble. This
leg and leaning her left arm on the trunk
sculpture of Aphrodite is part of a highly
of a tree to remove or put on a sandal
classical heritage. As far back as the
which has since disappeared. Her outline,
4th century BC, the Greeks first dared to
balanced between the angle of her hips
undress the goddess. Indeed, Praxiteles’
and that of her shoulders, is characteristic
famous Aphrodite of Knidos
of the iconography which strives to
became known via Roman copies such
highlight the voluptuous curves of the deity.
as the one in the Palazzo Altemps in Rome
The great care given to the representation
(ill. 1) – shows the goddess in a composition
of the flesh demonstrates the desire to
similar to ours but with a little more
represent Aphrodite in her role as the
goddess of desire. She has been modelled
treatment of the nude and her expression are all elements which can be found in the classical Greek tradition.
This iconographical theme became very popular during the Hellenistic period and enjoyed great success during the Roman era, most notably in Phoenicia, the region from which our sculpture comes. It is thought to have been made for a luxurious Ill. 1. Aphrodite of Knidos, Roman copy based on
private villa in the major Phoenician city of
Praxiteles. Palazzo Altemps, Rome, inv. No. 8619.
Tyre and thus hails from an area that was
Ill. 2. Statuette of a goddess standing naked, no doubt depicting the great Babylonian goddess,
known for its worship of Aphrodite and
3rd century BC â€“ 3rd century AD, Babylon, alabaster,
which, combined with that of the oriental
gold and ruby, H.: 24.80 cm. Louvre Musuem, Paris,
goddess Ishtar-Astarte, contributed to
inv. No. AO 20127.
the popularity of this type of production during the Roman era. The alabaster
The deity is fully naked but places her
statuette of a goddess standing naked in the
hands in such a way as to preserve
Louvre Museum in Paris (ill. 2) highlights
her intimacy in a gesture of surprise
the close ties between the two deities
accentuated by the movement of the head.
who were part of a genuine syncretism,
The theme of ablutions, underlined by
both religious and stylistic, since it depicts
the motif of the basin and the drapery
the goddess Ishtar of Babylon with the
which the goddess is leaning on, recalls
graceful forms of Aphrodite. The alabaster
her origins. The poet Hesiod, in the
statuette in the British Museum from
8th century BC, described her as being born
Byblos (ill. 3) is excellent proof of the
of the foam of the sea. This iconographical
existence of this iconography in Phoenicia
theme of Aphrodite going about her
as early as the Hellenistic period. The
ablutions, introduced by Praxiteles, was
bronze in the Louvre Museum, dated
the object of a number of variations, and our
from the Roman Empire and presumed to
statue features among these. The theme
be from Syria (ill. 4), demonstrates the same
of bathing, the hair tied back, the general
iconography of Aphrodite with a sandal.
the indented pupils and the eyelids curving all around the eye, are characteristic of this output. Our figure has all of these features and is uncannily reminiscent of the sculptures from the Mithraeum at Sidon on display at the Louvre Museum (ill. 5).
This enchanting Aphrodite was part of
150 – 50 BC, Byblos, alabaster, H.: 35.5 cm.
the collection of the trader, adventurer and
British Museum, London, inv. No. 1914,1020.1.
explorer J. Stephen «Steve» Fossett (ill. 6),
Ill. 4. Aphrodite untying her sandal, early Roman Empire, probably Syria, bronze, H.: 22.20 cm. Louvre Museum, Paris, inv. No. Br4417.
who acquired it in London on 8 June 1987. Famous for his five circumnavigations of the globe (by boat, hot air balloon and aeroplane), he was a man of means who, as well as having a taste for adventure, was drawn to the arts. He and his wife Peggy Fossett acquired a significant collection featuring works of different origins, including paintings, sculptures, archaeological items and Asian art. The various works were divided between their
Ill. 5. Genii of the Mithraeum at Sidon, 389 AD,
residences in Carmel (California), Beaver
marble. Louvre Museum, Paris, inv. No. AO 22259
Creek (Colorado) and Chicago (Illinois).
Our sculpture illustrates the persistence of this theme over time up until the later Roman Empire. The extreme polishing of the marble, accompanied by the deeply carved hair, is characteristic of work of the 4th century AD. Furthermore, the very intense, graphic treatment of the eyes, with
Ill. 6. J. Stephen Fossett in aviator gear with his wife Peggy.
HEAD OF SILENUS R OM A N, 1 ST – 2 ND C ENT U RY AD MA RB LE
HEIGHT: 35 CM.
WIDTH: 15 CM.
DEPTH: 16 CM.
PRO V EN AN C E: FORMERLY IN THE COLLEC T IO N O F MAR C DO LG O V O - S AB O U R OF F , VI L L A RAY BAUD , ROUTE DE SER RES , S AIN T - PAU L- DE- V EN C E, FRAN C E , S I N C E 1 9 7 7 . THEN IN THE FRENCH PR IV A T E C O LLEC T IO N O F R. G IN A C , N I C E .
In mythology, Silenus belongs to the
depicted as an aged man with marked facial
features, a characteristic beard and pointed
drunkenness. He is also the adoptive father
ears. His main attribute is a crown of vine
and tutor of Dionysus – the god of wine –
leaves. Our sculpture shows him with a
who was the result of an illegitimate tryst
melancholy expression. His face is leaning
between Zeus and a mortal by the name of
forward, looking downwards and his
Semele, and was thus pursued by the
features are particularly fine, with hollow-
jealous Hera. To help him escape,
sculpted cheeks and the look in his eyes is
Zeus gave Dionysus as a new-born
emphasised by the prominence of his eye
to the nymphs, under the supervision
sockets. His beard and hair have also been
carved in detail, with the sculptor having
Silenus taught Dionysus how to plant
made sure to create each lock of hair in high
vines. Once the deity had reached
relief, creating a sensation of movement and
adulthood, Silenus became part of his
light. The same keen attention to detail can
entourage alongside other satyrs, as well
be seen in the clusters of grapes and vine
as maenads and nymphs. Silenus is always
leaves which decorate his hair.
The fine realism of the sculpture sets it apart from many other representations of Silenus. The satyr was often depicted with a grotesque physique, with a flattened nose and thick lips (ill. 1 and 2). Our sculpture comes from a more naturalist tradition of representation of Silenus implemented by the sculptor Lysippos around 300 BC. This Greek original in bronze has since disappeared but we are aware of it via
Ill. 2. Silenus, 2nd century AD, found in Rome on the Via Flavia. Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome.
various copies, including a famous one housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris (ill. 3). Silenus carries the infant Dionysus in his arms, looking down on him with compassion and paternal affection, with a smile crossing his lips. The slim, muscular aspect of the sculpture enables it to be attributed to Lysippos. Our sculpture
Ill. 3. Silenus carrying Dionysus as a child, 1st or 2nd century AD, based on a Greek original in
would therefore appear to be a copy from
bronze circa 300 BC, discovered in the Gardens of
the Roman era of this famous sculpture, thus
Sallust, Rome, marble, H.: 190 cm. Former Borghese
explaining the downwards look towards
collection. Louvre Museum, Paris, inv. No. MR 346.
the infant Dionysus. It also connects it with other similar examples which follow the same model (ill. 4 and 5).
Ill. 4. Bust of Silenus, Roman era based on a Greek original from the Hellenistic period, marble. Former Albani collection, Capitoline Museum, Rome. Ill. 5. Head of Silenus, 2nd century AD, marble, Ill. 1. Silenus, Roman Empire, marble. Pio-Clementino
H.: 45 cm. Antikensammlung der Staatlichen Museen
Museum, Vatican, inv. No. 323.
zu Berlin, inv. No. SK 279.
Another element of note in our Silenus is the particular cut of the bust, indicating that it was atop a hermaic pillar. These originally depicted the god Hermes and were used has milestones and to guide travellers at crossroads. They became more prevalent in Greece during the Classical period (5th â€“ 4th century BC) and then throughout the Mediterranean. Other deities soon began to be depicted in this way, notably
iconography was much sought after in ornaments for gardens and banqueting halls (ill. 6).
Ill. 6. Pair of hermaic pillars depicting Silenus, marble, H.: 72 and 72.5 cm. Vatican Museums, Galleria dei Candelabri, Vatican, inv. No. 2392.
CINERARY URN RELIEF R OM A N, 1 ST – 2 ND C ENT U RY AD
MA RB LE
HEIGHT: 28 CM.
WIDTH: 31 CM.
DEPTH: 13 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: FORM ERLY IN THE COLLEC TIO N O F H EN RY DE MO N TH ERLA N T ( 18 9 5
1 9 7 2) ,
AC Q U IRED B EFO RE 1 9 5 0 .
This astonishing item is a fragment of
The dedication starts with an invocation
a circular cinerary urn sculpted with a
to the Manes, deities associated with the
rectangular inscription panel flanked by
souls of the dead. Next is the name of the
two figures of Eros.
deceased, and then that of the dedicator,
The panel is engraved with eight lines
in this case, the wife of the deceased.
in Latin: D(iis).M(anibus)
The whole text could be translated as:
“To the divine Manes, for Cnaeus
to her most deserving
The panel is framed by two figures of Eros in relief. Both are standing as though dozing, with eyes closed and heads bent. They are leaning on a torch while the sheath for a volumen (rolled papyrus) rests at their feet. The detail visible in the feathers of the wings, the delicate curls of hair and the facial features as well as the excellent state of preservation of the inscription make
Ill. 2. Urn dedicated to T. Flavius Clodianus, Roman, Antonine era, marble, H.: 39.5 cm. Gregoriano Profano Museum, Vatican, inv. No. 5366.
this fragment an exceptional collection piece. It is a testament to funerary art in Roman times. The left part of the fragment indicates that the back of the urn had a strigilated pattern â€“ in other words, it was decorated with wavy lines. This pattern was widely used to decorate vases, sarcophagi and urns in the time of the Romans. Compositions placing Eros in a funerary context can also be found on two
Ill. 3. Cinerary urn representing Eros and Psyche,
cinerary urns conserved at the Vatican (ill. 1
Roman, second half of the 2nd century AD, marble,
and 2) and another that is now the property of a private collector (ill. 3).
Ill. 1. Urn in the name of Sex. Flavius Secundus, Roman, 2nd century AD, marble, H.: 25 cm. Gregoriano Profano Museum, Vatican, inv. No. 10699.
H.: 18.5 cm. Private collection.
This fragment comes from the collection of
Montherlant (1895 – 1972), author and member of the Académie française – the pre-eminent council for matters relating to the French language and standards of literary taste – who surrounded himself with Greek, Roman and Egyptian artworks throughout his life.
Henry de Montherlant in his apartment.
Page from the notebook of Henry de Montherlant detailing some of his purchases.
CYLINDRICAL VASE E GYP TIA N , EARL Y DYNAS T IC PERIOD, 1 S T D Y NAS T Y, 2 965 – 2 8 1 5 BC A LA B A S T ER RES T O RAT IO NS .
HEIGHT: 32 CM.
DIAMETER: 15 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: W I TH THE ART DEALER ELIE ALB ERT A B EMAYO R ( 1 8 8 3 – 1 9 4 1 ) , R U E K A M E L , IN FRONT O F S H EPH EA RD’S H O T EL, C AIRO . T HEREAFTER ACQUIRED BY MIN A MERRILL PRIN DLE ( 1 8 6 4 – 1 9 6 3 ) , DU L U T H , M I N N E SOTA AND PA S A DEN A , C ALIFO R N IA , 7 JU LY 1 9 2 2 . T H EN B Y DES C EN T .
This magnificent tubular vase is sculpted
in banded alabaster. It is cylindrical in
bowls and other containers as well as for
shape and culminates in a rounded lip
canopic jars for burials. To make this
and rib in slight relief below. The vase
elongated type of vase, the sculptor will
is elongated and has different shades of
first have chiselled a block of alabaster. The
yellow, brown and ochre in the veins that are
exterior would then have been delicately
characteristic of the material. Alabaster
polished with an abrasive such as sand or
is a stone that is primarily extracted
emery, while the interior would have been
from the eastern deserts, between Cairo
hollowed out using a sort of drill. Our vase
and Luxor. It was highly sought-after
is of exceptional quality, with the artisan
cleverly using the natural banding of the
distinctive colour, and was widely used
stone to give it an incredible refinement.
Vases of this kind were used as containers
Our vase belonged to a merchant by the
for unguents or perfumes in residences, as
name of Elie Albert Abemayor, who was
well as in tombs, to provide the deceased
based in Cairo. It was then acquired
with the necessary comfort in the afterlife.
by Mina Merrill Prindle, wife of the industrialist William Martin Prindle. The Prindles were leading citizens of Duluth, Minnesota. In 1905, they built an imposing new house at 2211 Greysolon Road, taking up residence in 1906. It was decorated with various archaeological items, most notably vases and bowls in banded alabaster, predominantly acquired by Mina Prindle during a trip to Egypt in 1922.
Ill. 1. Cylindrical vase, Egyptian, 2nd millennium BC, alabaster. Louvre Museum, Paris, inv. No. SB 495.
Our vase in the residence of the Prindles, in 1924.
Ill. 2. Cylindrical vase, Egyptian, 1st dynasty, alabaster, H.: 24 cm. History of Art Museum, Vienna, inv. No. 6854. Ill. 3. Cylindrical vase, Egyptian, 1st â€“ 2nd dynasty, alabaster, H.: 36 cm. MariĂŠmont Royal Museum, Belgium, inv. No. B. 118.
Sitting room in the residence with Egyptian pieces.
RELIEF FRAGMENT R OM A N , 2 ND – 3 RD C ENT U RY AD
MAR B LE
HEIGHT: 26 CM.
WIDTH: 25,5 CM.
DEPTH: 10 CM.
PR O V EN AN C E: POSSIBLY IN THE C O LLEC T IO N O F MAR Q U IS G IU S TIN IA N I , PALAZZ O G IU S TIN IA N I, RO ME, 1 7 T H C EN TU R Y. L IKEL Y THEREAFTER IN THE C O LLEC TIO N O F MA RQ U IS G IA MPIETR O C A M P A N A (1808 – 1880), VILLA C AMPAN A A L C ELIO , RO ME. COL L ECTION OF PROFESSO R A RT H U R LIN C O LN FRO TH IN G H A M (1 8 5 9 – 1 9 23 ) , PRI NCETON, NEW JERSEY ; S ALE O F H IS ES T ATE 2 9 – 3 0 O C T O B ER 1 9 24, L O T 7 6 . B OU GHT BY JOSEPH BRU MMER ( 1 8 8 3 – 1 9 4 7) , N EW YO RK, IN V . N O. 7 5 2/C . FRANKLIN G ALLERY, B EV ER LY H ILLS . CHARL TON HESTON (1923 – 2 0 0 8 ) C O LLEC T IO N , LO S AN G ELES , C A L I F O R N I A , ACQUIRED IN T H E LA T E 1 9 5 0 S O R EAR LY 1 9 6 0 S .
This small fragment is from the upper edge of the side of a sarcophagus. It is sculpted in relief and represents a tritone from the back. Tritones were creatures which were part of the entourage of marine deities, personifying the roaring of the sea. Here the tritone is playing the lyre with its left hand while turning its face away to the right.
On the other side, part of a drape swelled by the sea breeze remains visible, doubtless wrapped around a feminine deity that was part of this marine procession. The
sarcophagus carved with a marine theme representing a tritone playing the lyre looking behind him was to be found in the Palazzo Giustiniani in Rome in the 17th century (represented in the Galleria Giustiniana catalogue) (ill. 1). Our sculpture
Ill. 2. Joseph Brummer (1883 – 1947).
is almost certainly a surviving fragment from that sarcophagus. It was acquired by Joseph Brummer (ill. 2) during the Frothingham sale in New York in 1924, as shown in the inventory of the Brummer Gallery (ill. 3).
Ill. 1. Galleria Giustiniana, vol. 2, Rome, 1640, pl. 146 (overall and detailed view). Ill. 3. Inventory card from the Brummer Gallery for our fragment, with the caption «Bought at American
Art Galleries, Frothingham Sale, Oct. 29, 1924; with N 752/d (sold) comprised No.76 of the catalogue». The Brummer Gallery Records, object inventory card No.N752c, Cloisters Library and Archives, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Arthur L. Frothingham (1859 – 19 23) studied in Rome between 1868 and 1881, before going on to be professor of Semitic languages at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore during the 1880s. An entry in the journal of the university in December 1884 indicated that he organised a temporary exhibition of his collection of antiquities at the university. Among the pieces on display were «some interesting fragments of marble,
purchased from the Campana collection»
Ill. 5. Historical photographs: a catalogue of three
thousand three hundred photographs of antiquities
It is probable that the majority of the
in Rome and Italy ... / prepared under the direction
fragments in the Frothingham collection,
of John Henry Parker. London, 1879. Sculpture,
which were sold off individually in 1924,
fragments of bas-reliefs built into the wall of the Villa Campana.
came from the Villa Campana, in Rome. They were acquired as a lot on the Roman art market shortly after the demolition of the building. Indeed, many of the fragments acquired by Brummer at the Frothingham sale can be seen in a photograph on the wall of the Villa Campana (ill. 5 and 6). We are quite certain that ours is of the same origin.
Ill. 6. Inventory card from the Brummer Gallery for a fragment visible in the top left-hand corner of the previous photograph, lot 80 in the Frothingham sale. Fragment now on display at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, inv. DCC1969.9. The Brummer Gallery Records, object inventory Ill. 4. Johns Hopkins University Circulars, vol. IV,
card No. N752c, Cloisters Library and Archives,
n°35, Baltimore, December 1884, p. 27.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The relief was later acquired by the Franklin Gallery in Beverly Hills, and then by the actor Charlton Heston (1923 – 2008) for his collection in Los Angeles in the late 1950s – early 1960s (ill. 7).
Ill. 7. Charlton Heston (1923 – 2008).
PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN R OM A N , L A TE 2 ND – EARL Y 3 RD C ENT U RY AD, S EV ER A N DYNAS T Y ERA, 1 93 – 2 3 5 AD
B RO N ZE
HEIGHT: 10 CM.
WIDTH: 12 CM.
DEPTH: 4 CM.
PRO V EN AN C E: FORMER COLLECT IO N O F G EN ERAL A MO U R EL ( 1 8 4 8 – 1 9 0 8 ) , CAPTAIN OF THE 15 T H ARMED C O RPS B A S ED IN MAR S EILLE, FR A N C E .
This elegant fragment of a bronze statue
way. The fragment is hollow and illustrates
shows the profile of a woman’s face from
the lost-wax casting technique for bronze
the left. The eye is delicately carved with
statues used by Greek sculptors and by the
a fine eyelid and the pupil is highlighted
Romans after them. This technique enables
by a discreet carved swirl. The eyebrow is
large hollow sculptures to be made, saving
finely drawn and also finished off by a series
on material and making them less heavy.
of incisions which emphasise the eye. The
During the creation process, a system of
nose is straight while the lips are a little
vents is installed to evacuate the wax which
fleshed out. Lastly, the hair is made up of
is replaced by molten bronze (ill. 1). After
delicate locks pulled back which hide the
the moulding, these vents are cut and filed
ear and which culminate most likely in a
down and the holes filled in by bronze
bun, itself held up by two braids which are
pellets – one of which has been lost from
still visible. A small kiss-curl around the ear
the cheek of our portrait.
rounds off the coiffure in the most charming
This fragment of a face is a beautiful and rare example of the Roman art of bronze portraits. It belonged to the descendants of General Amourel (1848 – 19 08), commander of the 15th Army Corps in Marseille (ill. 4). In 1881, he was notably involved in the conquest of Tunisia. In 1885 – 1886 he was part of the expeditionary corps in Tonkin, Vietnam, where he developed a taste for Asian arts which were later to make up the Ill. 1. The technique of lost-wax casting.
majority of his collection.
After the bronze moulding, the surface of our portrait was worked on when it was cold by means of incisions, to provide more detail and give more expression to the sculpture. The result can be seen in the fine incisions on the eyebrow, the iris and the pupil. The striation of the hair and the chiselling of the eyelids were also done when cold, and these details are very reminiscent of the marble portraits from the
Ill. 2. Bust of Julia Mamaea (180 – 235), circa 200 AD, marble. Capitoline Museums, Rome. Ill. 3. Bust of Elagabal (203 – 222), circa 220 AD, marble. Capitoline Museums, Rome.
Severan dynasty (193 – 235 AD). The same work around the eyes and eyebrows can be seen in the portrait of Julia Mamaea that is housed in the Capitoline Museums (ill. 2) and on that of Elagabal (ill. 3). However, the hair that is fixed and braided and the detail of the pupil are different from these imperial portraits. Our face was certainly sculpted in the provinces, in the eastern part of the Empire.
Ill. 4. General Amourel (1848 – 1908)
Violaine BarthĂŠlĂŠmy - Antoinette Schneider Gladys, Adrien & Ollivier Chenel Printed by Burlet Graphics With the participation of Vincent Martagex, Clotilde Pilon and Andrew Lilley (traduction).
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Published in February 2019 In an edition of 1 000.
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