Phoenix Ancient Art is honored to participate in the inaugural showing of TEFAF New York at the historical Park Avenue Armory. Our exhibition of objects is inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, and therefore recalls this architectural masterwork of the Emperor Hadrian, noted in antiquity as emperor, connoisseur of the arts – and architect. First constructed during the reign of Augustus, the Pantheon was restored and draws both its aesthetic and historical importance from the magnificent and unique dome added by Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D. Inspired by that ancient temple, here a vaulted dome ceiling with a distinctive central oculus illuminates the space. The rare marble portrait of the famous philhellenic emperor, Hadrian (No.9) belonged to an impressive, larger-than-life sculpture and shows the emperor as commander in chief and Pater Patriae (Father of the Country). This is indicated by the oak wreath that is also an allusion to the god Jupiter, most powerful among the Olympian deities. Above the wreath, five carefully drilled holes bear testimony to another godlike feature, a radiate crown that was probably made of gilded bronze rays. The image of Hadrian, which is of the type created in 127/128 A.D. for his decennalia (anniversary of ten years of reign) and his acceptance of the supreme title, is notable for its artistic and historical significance. Famous for his philhellenic interests, Hadrian favoured Roman works inspired by Greek art of the Classical Period, and his preference influenced a style later called Hadrianic Classicism. As a collector, he assembled copies of Greek 5th century B.C. sculpture at his villa in Tivoli. Exhibited here is a Graeco-Roman bronze masterwork that reflects the influence of such a classical style. A statuette of Herakles (No.1) embodies both the power and beauty of an athletic male physique and demonstrates a knowledge of styles from the Classical and Hellenistic periods. The torso bending
forward expresses the figure’s vigorous movement and the muscles of the nude body convey its great tension – all of which suggest a climax of combat just before the hero’s victory over an adversary. Using additional techniques such as chiseling and inlay – the eyes of the figure are silver and the lips are inlaid with copper – the artist was able to create a fully expressive face and a more realistic depiction of anatomy. In antiquity high quality statuettes were likely included among objects of art that formed the collections of wealthy and cultivated Romans. Hadrian’s duties as head of state and chief commander of the military brought the emperor to the most distant parts of the Roman Empire, as far as Britannia in the west, and in the east to Egypt and to Parthia, a part of Mesopotamia that was once a province of the Achaemenid empire. From this culture comes the head of a god or a king made of precious lapis lazuli (No.6), which belonged to a statuette of considerable size. It possesses aspects and the high quality of a distinctive style created by Achaemenid court sculptors. The head’s perfectly drawn facial features and details of hairstyle and beard are combined with shapes modeled with great precision in the hard stone. Very few Achaemenid sculptures in the round have survived, either of monumental or miniature scale, and this particular work is certainly among the most exquisite and best preserved. Almost a constant traveler as emperor, Hadrian spent a considerable time in Asia Minor, where his interest in hunting brought him to the province of Mysia. He may have crossed the lands in the region of ancient Troy, and, being classically versed, he certainly knew of Homer’s Iliad. In the niche of our Pantheon stands a monumental Greek terracotta vase from the 4th century B.C., attributed to the Darius Painter (No.8). The scenes depicted on the vase illustrate episodes from the sack of Troy: Priam, king of Troy, is about to be
dispatched to the afterlife at the hands of Neoptolemos; Ajax commits a sacrilegious act by raping Kassandra within a sanctuary; the reunion of Helen and Menelaos takes place at the shrine of Apollo, as the goddess of love, Aphrodite, appears to observe it. Exquisitely painted on the front side of the vase, the participants are identified by their inscribed names. The Darius Painter, among the most accomplished Greek vase painters known to us, is fond of representing the human figure in three quarter view. The faces of his figures are remarkably expressive, and the fold-lines of his drapery suggest a three-dimensional, voluminous aspect of the figures. An exploration of the art, techniques, and technologies of the ancient world brings us to the Phoenician city of Sidon on the coast of today’s Lebanon. Sidon is associated with the invention of a technique for making blown glass. Ennion is the most famous artist known to have made such works of art. In the 1st century A.D., he significantly improved mold blown production of glass by adding elaborate decoration and introducing various shapes of vessels, and he proudly claimed his work with an inscription in Greek: "Ennion made [it]". Such an inscription is found on the exquisite two-handled cup of cobalt blue glass (No.13) presented solely in the exhibition case. His glass vessels embody the appeal of luxurious objects that must have been as pleasing to Roman Imperial taste as they are to discriminating and knowledgeable collectors in our own time. The introduction of this cup is a significant contribution to the corpus of the Ennion’s oeuvre, one that was fully studied and presented in the exhibition "Ennion: Master of Roman Glass" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2015.
Among the most luxurious items from antiquity are the stunning cameo depicting the Roman emperor "Philip the Arab" and his family (No.17), and the extraordinary Byzantine garnet cup with an engraved cross and images of Christ, Saint Peter, and Saint Paul (No.3). These objects are unusually rare and highly important gems from the later Roman Imperial and Byzantine periods. Like ancient Rome’s Pantheon, which was a temple for many deities, our Pantheon contains an extraordinary selection of objects related to the most ancient of rituals: the Anatolian Neolithic steatopygous "idol" (No.10), the Egyptian Predynastic female figurine (No.5), the Near Eastern "eye-idol" (No.18). Created from the 6th to the 4th millennium B.C., we may be amazed by the high level of abstraction and unusual appearance of these objects that is, at the same time, strikingly modern. As always, Phoenix Ancient Art introduces works of art that possess more than just the finest quality and aesthetic appeal. The importance of these objects also lies in the information they possess. Each one carries with it a unique history of the art, culture, and spiritual life of diverse civilizations, which both a passionate collector and attentive scholar certainly recognize.
Statuette of Herakles with club 29562
Head of a God or a King 22196
34 – 37 10 – 17
Schematic female figurine 18723
Stele with a standing barefoot worshipper 13904
18 – 21
38 – 41
Ritual dish with Christ, Saint Peter and Saint Paul
Volute krater depicting the sack of Troy, the Iliupersis
22 – 25 42 – 51
Couchant lion 29941
26 – 29
Monumental head of the Emperor Hadrian (117-138 A.D.) 30098
52 – 57
Standing female figurine 29084
Steatopygous "Idol" 33919
58 – 61 30 – 33
Bracelet with terminals in the form of confronting goats
The "Gréau" statuette of a goddess 17489
92 – 97 62 – 65
Large cylinder "Idol" 3199
66 – 71
Cameo with portraits of Philip the Arab and his family 32966
98 – 103
"Ennion" cup 33715
"Eye-idol" atop an architectural structure 12771
72 – 79 104 – 107
Head of a Goddess 34482
80 – 85
Boat with rowers 19064
108 – 110
Three helmets of the Corinthian type 33918 34150 34480
86 – 91
1 Statuette of Herakles with club Late Hellenistic Greek / Graeco Roman, 1st century B.C. Bronze, silver (eyes and teeth), copper (lips and nipples) H: 20.2 cm
The statuette is a masterpiece of ancient bronze casting. It is a work striking for both the beauty and the perfection in rendering of the human body: the naturalistic approach for the shapes is combined here with the knowledge of styles from the Classical period; the interest in details is stressed by employing additional techniques such as chiseling and inlaying. The figure represents Herakles, the most famous ancient Greek hero, in a dramatic moment of one of his labors – the right arm holding the club and raised high above the head is ready to slush, the right leg is advanced and bent at the knee, the torso is inclined forward following the same vigorous movement, the muscles of the entire body are rendered in great tension – everything showing the climax of combat before the hero’s victory over the adversary. The first things to discuss are the subject matter and the composition. What precisely is the depicted labor? Was it chosen from the canonic twelve deeds of Herakles, or from the stories telling additional adventures of the hero? Was this figure connected to another one to form a sculptural group, or were they merely set side by side? Was Herakles represented alone, leaving the spectator to guess at the subject matter and to imagine the complete story? The lion’s skin, the common attribute of Herakles along with his club and the bow, is not represented here in the usual way, bound around his shoulders, with a knot at the neck. This may suggest that the figure depicts the first labor, the fight with the Nemean lion; however, Herakles’ upward gaze, directed well above the lion’s figure, excludes this possibility. The remains of the shoulder and its position indicate that the arm was lowered and followed the diagonal line of the left leg, so the lion’s skin would be wrapped around the left hand as is attested to several similar compositions. Greek art explored at length the thematic range of Herakles labors, making it especially popular in vase painting and sculpture from the late 6th and continuing through the 5th century B.C. Herakles appears in the sculptural decoration of the friezes and metopes of Greek temples, where he is represented on the side of the gods and heroes struggling against the enemies or executing his deeds. Sometimes there was a direct political reason in choosing a particular episode among his labors. One such became the scene of Apollo and Herakles struggle for the Delphian tripod: the motive was associated in the early 6th century B.C. with the outcome of the First Sacred War. As the composition of the bronze figure does not indicate that Herakles might have held the tripod, the struggle with Apollo was not chosen for this representation.
In studying the representations of Herakles’ labors from the point of view of their composition (keeping in mind the idea of the eye level of the figures and their interaction), the research should include the relief sculpture, because no sculpture in the round, especially the complete sculptural groups, survived from the Classical period. The metopes with Herakles and one of the mares of Diomedes from the temple of Zeus at Olympia (started in 456 B.C.) and the Hephaisteion in Athens (ca. 450 B.C.) appear to be the right choice. The arm holding the club is raised, the step is advanced; however closer comparison reveals the difference in the turn of the head: if we imagine that the bronze Herakles held the bridle in his left hand, the head is turned back and does not look at the mare. The frieze of the temple of Apollo in Bassae (420400 B.C.) shows a similar pose, but reversed, of Herakles fighting against the Amazon Hippolyta, who is represented opposite him. This demonstrates that the statuette, although referring to the iconographic schemes in group arrangements in Greek Classical art, does not copy them in a precise way. As the statuette does not show any trace of a connection to a joint figure in the composition, we can conclude that the bronze was designed as a single figure. This idea is supported by the fact that, although the figure received complete three-dimensional modeling, the main position (the head seen strictly in profile while the torso is frontal) is sufficient to recognize the action. This particularity of the composition is typical for Greek statuary of the Severe style and found in few surviving bronze pieces in the round of about 460 B.C.: the statue of Zeus/Poseidon from the Cape Artemision (Athens, National Archaeological Museum) and the statuette of Herakles from Mantinea (the Louvre). The male body type and the proportions are similar: a strong body build with broad shoulders, pectoral, and broad waist are characteristic. The structure is also defined by the strong, welltrained muscles of the back, buttocks, and legs. The present statuette, however, has a different approach in the representation of the muscle groups, which are much more detailed. This is especially seen in the divisions of muscles in the abdominal area, the external oblique bulges over the hip and the iliac crest and in particular, the long dorsal muscles that continue to the sides. This reveals not only the advanced knowledge of the anatomy of the male body, but a quite specific preference for the exaggerated, heavier shapes of the limbs and their muscular structure, found in such expressive examples of the late Classical and Hellenistic styles as the Farnese Herakles by Lysippos, the Pergamon Altar figures, the Boxer (Rome, National Archaeological Museum) and the Laocoon. 13
The interest in the individual features of the body leads the artist to show more details including the veins, and not only the fingers and toes, but also the nails. The rendering of the head and the face is most explicit: the features are regular, as they were in Classical art, but there is more expression, the full lips are slightly open, the larger eyes are deep-set, and there is a furrow crossing the forehead. The locks of the hair were carefully chiseled after the cast was finished. Only the long moustaches with curled ends recall the male fashion of the Severe style: instead of the long lines and circles on the surface typical for the hair modeling in the second quarter and the middle of the 5th century, the short and individual patterns create a dynamic play of shapes and shades. The colorful effect of the work is strengthen by introducing additional metals: the lips (as well as the nipples) are inlaid with the red copper, the teeth and the eyes are rendered in silver inlays. It has been suggested for similar works, that the hollow in the middle of the eye was once inlaid to represent the iris and the pupil. This was certainly true for larger pieces, but it is made differently on this and comparable items. Although the technique of forming the eye (by inlaying of micro particles) was familiar to a skillful bronze maker; there was probably no need employing it with statuettes of this scale as a new method of plastic modeling for the eye had been invented. In our piece the well-modeled bronze eyelids enframe the silver eyeball whose plastic modeling follows the anatomical division of the eye: there is a relief encircling the hollow to indicate the edge of the iris. As a result, the contrast of the bright silver of the eyeball and the deep shadow from the depression create a strong illusion of an intense gaze. The coloring of the features was not by itself strange to Greek marble and bronze sculpture of the preceding periods, depression in the eye was long employed in the small bronze statuettes - the innovations were the illusionary effects favored since the Hellenistic era. What is completely new in this figure, as compared to the Classical models, is the expression of the face showing the great tension and concentration following the enormous physical effort of the body. We might even expect to hear a cry from the heroâ€™s mouth. The expectation of the next psycho-physical condition was quite a new quality introduced and developed by the Hellenistic sculptors. To discover the full expression of the face, one should turn the figurine or move around to see it from the front. There are many features that connect this piece with the works created in the 5th century B. C. However, the above-mentioned particularities of rendering, composition, preference of certain 14
styles, the closer involvement of the spectator, all helps to establish the date of the bronze as Late Hellenistic. The dating is also supported by the observation of technical features: both arms with attributes were cast separately and attached to the hollow figure; piecing and soldering were practiced by Roman bronze manufacturers, but were also already in use in the Hellenistic workshops. The surface of the statuette exposes only few areas that preserved the authentic, dark brown patina. It reveals the layers of metal of different colors (golden-brown, greenish) that together create a kind of impressionistic effect. This piece could have been commissioned and purchased to serve as a dedication in a sanctuary. Many bronze statuettes of Herakles were found in Pompeiian or Roman lararia, home sanctuaries dedicated to family protectors. In the late Hellenistic/ Roman period, such a piece might also belong to an art collection of a wealthy and cultivated man, who preferred copies of the great Greek works of earlier periods and styles. The tradition of collecting statuettes of Herakles harkens back to Alexander the Great being known for keeping the bronze statuette of a banqueting Herakles, made by Lysippos, and carrying it with him on the military campaigns. This statuette, later owned by the Roman art collector Novius Vindex, was described by Latin poets, Martial (Epigrams, 9.44) and Statius (Silvae, 4. 6. 32-47). It was called Herakles Epitrapezios, Heracles of the Table, because of its small scale suitable to being displayed on a tabletop. Note that there are supports beneath the soles that were cast along with the feet. These are not the usual tenons designed to connect the figure with the base (separately made) but probably belonged to a plinth or a low base representing the ground. The base would hardly include an additional figure, because of the complexity of such a bronze casting. We can imagine that several different figures cast separately on their own bases were available for purchase, and that the owner might choose a certain figurine specifically to combine it with the image of the protagonist. This would give the collector an opportunity to present a different episode from the story as part of his private museum display and to discuss it with his guests. As we know from Latin writers, the Roman art connoisseurs traveled abroad as early as the period of the Late Republic to see the most famous Greek sites and the masterpieces (Cicero in Orations Against Verres, IV, II, 4, called the marble statue of Cupid at Thespiae a celebrated work of Praxiteles and added: "on account of which people go to see Thespiae,
for there is no other reason for going to see it"). Such bronze statuettes would be seen as precious and desirable souvenirs to bring home. Although the Severe or the High Classical styles were not yet employed as the theoretic designations of the periods in art history, specific features in such representations were clearly observed and appreciated in term of the sculptors personal styles.
CONDITION Excellent state of preservation; missing the left arm, (which was probably cast separately from the body), and the tip of the club; left foot is connected to the original support from the base; the surface has shades or light and dark green patina and was partially affected by oxidation and weathering of the surface of the body; the silver eyes and teeth and the copper nipples and lips are well preserved.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Swiss private collection, acquired in the 1960s; Thence inherited by his son, Switzerland, 1970s; Ex- Swiss private collection, acquired from above; (Swiss collector who lived in NeuchĂ˘tel for 30+ years); Ex- US private collection, acquired in June 2000; US private collection, acquired 2015.
BIBLIOGRAPHY BOARDMAN J., Greek Sculpture, The Classical Period, London, 1992. HILL D. K., Note on the Piecing of Bronze Statuettes in Hesperia 51 (3), 1982, pp. 277-283. RIDGWAY B. S., Fifth Century Styles in Greek Sculpture, Princeton, 1981. PAYNE H. W., BOARDMAN J., The Struggle for the Tripod and the First Sacred War in The Journal of Hellenic Studies 77, 1957, pp. 276-282. ROLLEY C., Greek Bronzes, Fribourg, 1986. On bronze statuette of Herakles from Mantinea, see: The Greek Miracle, National Gallery of Art, Washington, p. 110, no. 14. On bronzes of classicizing style, see: The Gods Delight: The Human Figure in Classical Bronze, Cleveland, 1988, pp. 168-172, no. 29. In Pursuit of the Absolute Art of the Ancient World: From the George Ortiz Collection, Berne, 1994, no. 220. A Passion for Antiquities, Ancient Art from the Collcetion of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, Malibu, 1994, pp. 303-306, no. 158. On Herakles Epitrapezios, see: BARTMAN E., Ancient Sculptural Copies in Miniature, Leiden, New York, KĂśln, 1992, pp. 147-186.
2 Schematic female figurine Neolithic (Romania / Bulgaria), 5th millennium B.C. Marble H: 21 cm
This abstract figurine is a very rare example of European Neolithic art; the material used and considerably large size qualify the artwork as far superior to the typical small clay and bone figurines. Only an advanced craftsmen could understand the technical and aesthetic properties of carving marble and the amount of time that is consumed in working with the material is a testament to the value and appreciation of the artist’s accomplishment. Designed in the schematic style with a pentagonal upper part, rounded middle section and triangular lower part, it undoubtedly represents a female figure. Main parts of the human body – head, chest with projections which denote the arms, abdomen and joined legs – are formulated. While the back side is flat, the front received shapes: the head, decorative ornamentation and smooth surface create a visual appeal; the iconographical details refer to the concept of health and beauty. It has been suggested that the holes drilled on the arms may have been used for suspension while the holes on the face could’ve received copper or gold earrings. This stresses the idea that the figurine belonged to the category of luxury objects, and the change of decorative elements could be part of its employment. In this way, owning the figurine indicated the status of a person as a high ranking member of the community.
CONDITION Entirely preserved except for a small loss to the proper left “arm” and a chipped area on the lower back side of the right “leg”; traces of soil; minor chips; no restorations or repairs.
PROVENANCE Formerly, N. Koutloulakis, 1960s; Ex- British private collection, prior to 1999; Ex- American private collection, acquired September 29, European private collection.
BIBLIOGRAPHY BAILEY D. W., The Figurines of Old Europe, in ANTHONY D. W., ed., The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000-3500 BC, New York, Princeton, Oxford, 2010, pp. 113-127, nos. 4, 12, 29, 30. The First Civilization in Europe and the Oldest Gold in the World, Varna, Bulgaria, Isetan Museum of Art, 1982, nos. 23, 442. Musée National Stara Zagora, Soﬁa, 1965, pl. 7. PAPATHANASSOPOULOS G., ed., Neolithic Culture in Greece, Athens, 1996, p. 295-296, no. 197.
Among the surviving figurines of similar style and composition found in Greece, Bulgaria and Romania, marble figurines are extremely rare. The marble anthropomorphic figurine in the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum has less developed form and is essentially two-dimensional. The clay figurines from Romania (the Cucuteni culture) were modeled with more sense of threedimensionality. The perforations and incisions employed for the details remain typical for the design of bone figurines, of which the closest example is the artwork in the Museum of Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.
3 Ritual dish with Christ, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Byzantine, 5th–7th or 9th–10th Garnet H: 3.7 cm – W: 2.5 cm – D: 1 cm
This garnet, sculpted in the shape of a shallow convex dish, is extraordinary both by its size and the purity of the stone. It is carefully and finely engraved on both sides. A large cross with long arms covers most of the exterior surface. The extremities of the Cross’s arms worked as two commas circling a large pearl. The letters IC XC (Iesos Chrestos) are engraved on either side of the Cross. The standing figures of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, draped in a mantle, are acclaiming on either side of the Cross. Peter carries a long shafted cross, whilst Paul is recognizable ichnographically: an ascetic man, with a long beard and a bold skull. The interior of the vessel is occupied by a figure of Christ, standing on a scabellum (a small stool) drawn in perspective, and holding a book in his left hand. He wears a long tunic and a draped mantle on his shoulders. The right arm is covered by the mantle, thus preventing the familiar benediction gesture. The Christ is bearded and his long hair falls down upon his neck. A cross shaped halo surround his head.
The usage of such stone in this peculiar shape is also quite unique. A narrow ridge on the exterior rim of the vessel is proof that a second element could have been fitted onto the dish, thus enabling it to close, and creating a hermetically sealed space on the inside. The shape, the iconography of the piece, as well the usage of the garnet all point to a very particular and rare vessel. It is probably a dish that contained the holy-chrism (myron in the Oriental Church). This holy oil is used to mark the believers during Baptism, Confirmation (Unction in the East) and the ordination of Priests and Bishops. It is composed of pure olive oil, to which balsam (a substance extracted from a tree in Judea and Arabia) is added.
CONDITION Entirely preserved; chips on the interior border to the left of Christ.
A clever visual effect was devised by the artist with the interior side directed towards the light, and Christ appearing on the cross on the exterior. However, this visual effect is not active in the reverse; indeed, when looking through the interior, the cross is simply not visible behind Christ. Stylistically, this figure of Christ can be assimilated to several other examples in glyptic works from the 9th and 10th century, such as the so-called ‘Anne’ double faced intaglio, at the Cabinet des Médailles, in Paris (Babelon 338). Indeed, the image of Christ is represented in the same way, in the same attitude, but surrounded by Deesis (the Virgin and John the Baptist).
Formerly, Simkovic collection, collected in the 1970s.
BIBLIOGRAPHY DURAND J. & alii, Byzance, l’art byzantin dans les collections publiques françaises, Paris, 1992, no. 184. SPIER J., Late Antique and Early Christian Gems, Wiesbaden, 2007, no. 575, 576. GRIGG R., The Cross and Bust Image: some tests of a recent explanation, in Byzantinische Zeitschrift 72, 1979.
Yet, another similar standing figure of Christ is also attested on an amethyst cameo from the Dumbarton Oaks collection (inv. 53.7). Nonetheless, one should not discard an earlier dating for this piece, notably due to the subject matter on the exterior side of the vessel (the acclamation of the Cross by Peter and Paul). It is in fact rare to encounter it in 10th century Byzantine iconography. However, it is featured on a magnificent agate intaglio from the Wavel collection (Krakow, Poland, inv. IX 2607), which dates from the 5th-7th century A.D. This is one of the finest and best kept intaglios from this period; the bust of Christ tops a large cross surrounded by a Greek inscription which reads: "Emmanuel". Saint Peter and Saint Paul stand on either side acclaiming the Cross.
4 Couchant lion Roman, 2nd–3rd century A.D. Rock crystal L: 7.2 cm – H: 4.8 cm
Considered highly exotic, lions and leonine animals obtained for private display or public spectacles by Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors, came primarily from North Africa and Syria according to the literary and art historical evidence. Lions as draughtanimals had a firm place in the iconography of Roman myth and are utilized to pull the chariot carts of Cybele, as leonine animals do for Dionysos/Bacchus. This particular couchant lion is made of rare rock crystal, of which is particularly clear. The animal rests with forelegs extending out in front with its hind legs tucked under the body. Although made on a relatively small scale, facial details and carved or curving lines ably indicate the animal’s musculature and accentuate its feline nature, as one can note the details of the claws and curling tail. A Roman rock crystal lion of similar size is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (acc. no. 55.135.6, length 5.4 cm). A groove in the base suggests that the Metropolitan’s example was formerly mounted onto another object, possibly a scepter. The rock crystal lion under consideration here may have functioned in a similar manner, if not used as a votive or apotropaic object.
CONDITION Excellent condition, complete with no restoration or repair; the rock crystal is extremely pure; minor chips on the proper left eye and lower lip.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Elie Mkenna Collection 1960s; Ex- Sleiman Aboutaam collection, 1980s; Ex- British private collection, 1988; Ex- US private collection, 2001.
PUBLISHED Hardstones of the Ancient World, New York, 2000, no. 46.
BIBLIOGRAPHY BECK H., Notes on Glazed Stones, Glazed Quartz II, in Ancient Egypt and the East, New York, 1935, pp. 19-28. HELCK W., Bergkristall, in Lexikon der Ägyptologie I, Wiesbaden, 1975, cols. 709-710. TOYNBEE J., Animals in Roman Life and Art, London, 1973 and South Yorkshire 2013, pp. 61-69.
Rock crystal, a pure and transparent type of quartz, is found naturally as large pieces or crystals in rock clefts and caverns, or as geodes or pebbles in gravel. The name for rock crystal is derived from the Greek, krystallos and kryos, meaning "frost, cold, icy," which encompasses the concept expressed by ancient authors that rock crystal is a form of petrified ice (Pliny Natural History 37.9.23) or ice hardened through intense freezing. Such seemingly miraculous stone was believed to have the powers of an amulet and therefore was highly valued. Pliny mentions that the rock crystal used in Rome as coming from India, and that Romans learned an appreciation of rock crystal from cultures of the Near East. He records additional sources of the mineral in Asia Minor, Cyprus, the Alps, Arabia, and Portugal, and states that rock crystal from India was preferred. Rock crystal from the Alps, coming from Virunum, capital of the province of Noricum, was also particularly prized. Although sources for this mineral were scarce in antiquity, it was utilized for many types of objects such as jewelry, vessels, handles, and inlay, as well as small scale sculpture. The hardness of rock crystal makes it particularly difficult to carve, but the stone is highly desirable because when it is polished the glossy surface resists scratches. Due to the limited availability of rock crystal and the intensive labor involved in their making, objects of this stone were rare and expensive. Ancient works of rock crystal known in our own time offer testimony to those highly desired objects of luxury, luxuria, from the Roman world. 29
5 Standing female figurine Egyptian (Predynastic), Naqada II period, ca. 3650â€“3450 B.C. Ivory H: 10.2 cm
This rare female statuette is depicted in the standing pose and is designed in the realistic style. The height and the outer contours of its body conforms to the shape of the ivory stock from which it was sculpted. The long torso emphasizes its narrow waist and wide hips. These anatomical features combine with its drooping breasts to suggest that the statuette is of a full-figured, mature women. The inherent sexuality is emphasized by its nudity, which is further articulated by the stippling of its pubic mound. Her face is enlivened by what were formally inlaid eyes and eye brows. It is of interest to note the lack of hair on her head, which, like the inlays of the eyes and eye brows, may have originally been created in now lost secondary materials. This stunning female figure is an example of a work of art created for an elite, aristocratic patron as ivory was the privileged medium used for luxury items. This work of art could have been ritually placed into a cultic deposit, perhaps in anticipation of a prayer to be granted or in thanks for one that had already been answered. Most of the realistic figures, both male and female, in the classification to which this female statuette belongs, were discovered in ritual deposits. Without any accompanying inscriptions, it is difficult to suggest the function to which this ivory female statuette was put. As such, this statuette stands at the beginning of a long tradition of ancient Egyptian art, created from costly ivory and enhanced by the addition of secondary materials. Culturally this statuette also serves as a reminder that ancient Egyptian women were freer, economically and socially, than were their sisters in either ancient Greece or Rome. The study of the cultures of Predynastic Egypt has accelerated, with two landmark exhibitions staged almost simultaneously at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and at the Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago. As a result, the dating of this female figure to the ancient Egyptian Predynastic cultural horizon termed the Naqada II Period (roughly 3650-3450 BC) is firmly established as a result of a very close parallel in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London. One suggests that the material of the statuette is elephant ivory, which the Egyptians of the period considered to be the most prestigious of all artistic media.
CONDITION Excellent state of preservation with superﬁcial wear on the surface. Missing the nose, arms, and feet. Small black writing on the front of the left leg that reads “EGYPT”. (presumably from the Pitt Rivers inventory in 1883).
PROVENANCE Anonymous sale, Messrs Sotheby's Wellington St Strand, May 28 1883, Lot 119; Ex- Lieutenant General A. H. L. F. Pitt-Rivers, acquired from above (original inventory book found in Pitt Rivers Museum Archives dating back to 1883); Ex- Pitt-Rivers Museum, Farnham, Dorset, 1892; Ex- Christie's London, December 12, 1990, Lot 229; US Private collection.
PUBLISHED Messrs Sotheby’s Wellington St Strand, May 28 1883, Lot 119; Christie’s London, December 12, 1990, Lot 229.
BIBLIOGRAPHY PATCH, D. Craig (ed), Dawn of Egyptian Art, New York, New Haven, and London, 2011, p.109. TETTER E. (ed), Before the Pyramids. The Origins of Egyptian Civilization, Chicago, 2011. London, University College, The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology UC15138: Patch (2011), 110-111, catalogue 91, and 252.
6 Head of a God or a King Achaemenid, late 6thâ€“early 5th century B.C. Lapis lazuli H: 9.1 cm
Very few Achaemenid sculptures in the round have survived, both of monumental or miniature scale; among them this artwork made of precious lapis lazuli is one the most exquisite and best preserved. The head belonged to a statuette of considerably large size, which indicates its significance and high value, both artistic and actual. The composition presents it looking straight ahead, the expression is calm and solemn. All features are arranged symmetrically, an important quality for the ideal of the human appearance employed for the depictions of deities and kings in Achaemenid art. The doubled line of the eyelids with their characteristic downward inner canthi outlines the wide-open and almond-shaped eyes. The upper eyelids continue the line beyond the lateral canthi creating an arch that is echoed in perfectly drawn, thin and long, eyebrows. Also long and thin, the aquiline nose shows energetically curved nostrils that dominate the center of face and contrast to the thin lips. The structure of this face is built with the idea of balanced proportions, and the main features are divided by clear areas of the high-placed cheek bones and forehead. The rest of the slightly elongated shape is occupied by an abundance of hair: four rows of rounded spiral locks constitute the beard and its sides as well as the long hair at the back, while the feather-like individual locks are placed upright in a wide row above the forehead. Each of them has a rounded tip and divisions marked by vertical incision lines. Such a hairstyle is best known in the sculptural images from Persepolis. Built by Darius, "the Great King, King of Kings", in the 5th century B.C. for the official receptions, temple and palace ceremonies, the walls of the buildings are covered with reliefs which present the most impressive examples of Achaemenid figurative art, and still are our primary source of iconography of that historical period. The hairstyle is found among the depictions of bearded gods or mythological creatures, kings, dignitaries and court attendants, or the Persian or Median guards, and this explains the difficulty in attributing the present image.
shows the details of the beard, mustache, and hair below the lower lip which are very similar to the present head. Only few works constitute the corpus of Achaemenid statuettes made of lapis lazuli: a fragment of a face in the Museum Barbier-Mueller in Geneva, a head of a prince wearing a tall castellated tiara in the National Museum of Iran, and half a figure of a Median noble as the lion strangler in the Cleveland Museum of Art. Different in modeling, they possess qualities of the great style created by the Achaemenid court sculptors. It is not clear if this head belonged to a statuette made entirely of lapis, or rather fitted onto a body of gold or ivory; in any case it shows the preference for costly material.
CONDITION Good condition with natural fractures in the stone; the surface is weathered, chipped in few places and partly covered with incrustation; a fragment missing on the lower right side of the back of the head.
PROVENANCE Formerly, N. Koutoulakis private collection, Paris, acquired prior to 1996.
BIBLIOGRAPHY CURTIS J., TALLIS N., The Forgotten Empire: the world of Ancient Persia, London, 2005, pp.99-100, nos. 87-89. GHIRSHMAN R., The Art of Ancient Iran From its Origins to the Time of Alexander the Great, New York, 1964, p.244-245, ﬁg.294. HARPER P. O., ARUZ J., TALLON F., The Royal City of Susa: Ancient Near Eastern Treasures from the Louvre, New York, 1992, pp. 219-221, no. 153. Le profane et le divin, arts de l’Antiquité de l’Europe au sud –est asiatique : fleurons du Musée Barbier-Mueller, Paris, 2008, p.342. STETTLER M., OTAVSKY K., Abegg-Stiftung Bern in Riggisberg I, Kunsthandwerk,-Plastik-Malerei, Bern, 1971, pl. 7. SHEPHERD D. G., An Achaemenid Sculpture in Lapis Lazuli, in The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 48, no. 2, February 1961, pp. 18-25.
The consideration that only a god or a king, high official, or priest could be represented here derives from the remaining vertical elements which form the headdress or crown and the significance of the material of the artwork and its dimensions. The colossal statue of Darius I found in Susa (the head is not preserved; Tehran, National Museum of Iran), made ca. 522-486 B.C. of Egyptian granite, gives the idea of the composition of the figure (strictly frontal and static, with one arm lowered and another bent and pressed firmly against the chest); the fragmented monumental royal head in limestone from the same site and period (the Louvre) 37
7 Stele with a standing barefoot worshipper Sumerian, middle of the 3rd millennium B.C. (2700–2400 B.C.) Limestone H: 60 cm – L: 37 cm – W: 12 cm
His large and exceedingly rare stele has a warhead shape where the base is wider than the top. The represented person is a standing man who appears stepping to the left; however, the position of his feet (the right in front of the left) depends on the iconographical convention to represent both legs. He is dressed in a kaunakes, a typical Mesopotamian garment sewn of sheepâ€™s skin, which covers the right shoulder and the legs up to the calves. This type of dress is usually reserved for women (men wear a skirt); despite the absence of the beard, the shaved crane proves undoubtedly that the person is of the male sex. The rare male figures dressed in this manner are mostly kings or divinities (statuette of Lamgi-Mari, statuette of Meskigala, relief of Khafaje with the seated divinity). The representation corresponds exactly to the Sumerian canon of the third millennium, with the head and legs seen in profile, while the body and arms are frontal. Many anatomical details are indicated in relief or by incision. The arms form the trapeze (the left shoulder is rounded, the right one is more angular), the hands with long incised fingers are crossed. The legs are visible under the kaunakes, as well as the calves, ankles and heels. Most of the repertoire of Sumerian reliefs contain small stone or terracotta plaques, stone bowls and cups. The function of the stele can be no different than that of the earliest and most famous figures and worshippers in the novad. It shares the same worshipping position, where the figures clasps their hands in front of their chest in prayer.
expression which is canonical for the Mesopotamian figures: in reality, it probably was not a smile, rather the manifestation of his interior power and self-assurance. None of the Near-Eastern stelai known today are truly comparable to this present one. Although there are other reliefs which represent figures in similar attitude, they always make part of a multifigural scene, often accompanied with inscriptions. They never occupy the whole space of the relief or have such a prominent size. One can mention the stelai from Tello with inscriptions of Ur-Nanshe (the Louvre). As for the iconography, there is another category of objects which is comparable to the represented person: in fact, the figure of a man, though two-dimensional, corresponds exactly to the statuettes of worshippers, which belong to the most ancient and most popular type of Mesopotamian sculpture. One finds here the same general attitude, forms, proportions and style. Many Mesopotamian temples present figures of worshippers which the believers commissioned and dedicated to the deities as testimony of their devotion. They were placed in the temples interiors on low benches along the walls or at the altarâ€™s base; when the space became too crowded, the cult attendants would dig a sacred pit (favissa) where the supernumerary objects were buried. These ex-votos were dedicated by the members of the royal family, important court or administration persons, priests, as well as welldoing people. Sometimes there is an inscription at the back of the figure which attests the name and status of its owner.
Here the stele could have been commissioned and dedicated to the different divinities as symbols of their devotion and to assure constant reverential presence before the god. Its shape suggests that it was cut to rest on a flat base prepared for it and probably secured to a wall.
In terms of geography, the statuettes of worshippers are presented all around the Mesopotamia, from the Persian Gulf and Susa on the South to Assur and Mari on the North, including the numerous sites of the fertile valley of Diyala on the left bank of Tigris.
The profile of the head is rounded, with a prominent big nose; the enormous eye dominates the face and is surmounted by an arched eyebrow; both the iris and pupil are incised. The man has a smiling
Despite the absence of the archaeological context, it is possible that this stele had the function similar to the statuettes of worshippers.
CONDITION Superﬁcial chips and scratches to the surface, otherwise there are no losses and no repairs.
PROVENANCE Formerly, European private collection, imported into the US on July 17, 2001; Art Loss Register Report dated June 29, 2001.
BIBLIOGRAPHY BÖRKER-KLÄHN J., Altvorderasiatische Bildstelen und vergleichbaren Felsreliefs (BaF 4), 1982, p. 123, no. 16 (stele of Tello). BÖSE J., Altmesopotamische Weihplatten (UAVA 6), 1971, pl. 12, 3 (relief of Khafaje); 31, 2 (relief of Tello). BRAUN-HOLZINGER E.A., Frühdynastische Beterstatuetten (Abh. DOG 19), 1977. FRANKFORT H., Sculpture of the Third Millenium from Tell Asmar and Khafajah, Chicago, 1939. FRANKFORT H, More Sculptures from the Diyala Region, Chicago, 1943.
8 Volute krater depicting the sack of Troy, the Iliupersis Attributed to the Darius Painter South Italian, Apulian, ca. 340â€“330 B.C. Terracotta H: 114 cm â€“ W: 60 cm
The Iliupersis, one of the lost works of ancient Greek literature, belonged to the Epic Cycle that told the history of the Trojan war in verse. Only fragments have come down to us, but related epics and later references, such as the second book of Virgil’s Aeneid, provide us with an impression of the poem’s content. The paucity of written sources make scenes from the Iliupersis in the visual arts – like those depicted on this volute krater by the Darius Painter – all the more rare and significant. Exquisitely painted on the front side of this vase, the participants in the tragic sack of Troy are identified by name, all inscribed in neatly painted letters. The scene of action is set by the large, rectangular altar of Zeus Herkeios, prominently located in the center of the upper register. The altar is painted white, indicating that it was constructed of white marble or stone. It is surrounded by other monuments appropriate for a sanctuary: the skulls of sacrificial bulls, bucrania, hang near the altar; at the left, a Doric column is surmounted by a tripod; at the right, a statue of the goddess Athena stands upon a small altar. The tripod on the column, branches of laurel in the landscape, as well as the dislodged tripod depicted in the center and at the bottom of the figural scene, allude to the presence of the god Apollo.
In the center of the lower register Helen kneels upon a pedestal and embraces a column supporting a statue of Apollo, of which only the legs remain attached. The upper part of the statue, which depicts the god holding a bow, is shown lying on the ground to the right of the monument. The presence of the statue indicates that the reunion of Menelaos and Helen takes place at the shrine of Apollo. In this scene the goddess of love, Aphrodite, appears to observe passively at the right as her young son, Eros, intercedes and stays the hand of Menelaos that holds a sword, as he intends to slay Helen who seeks refuge at the column’s base. In keeping with the myth that Menelaos is moved by Helen’s beauty, and being duly influenced by Aphrodite and Eros, Menelaos drops his sword and the life of Helen is spared. Appropriately, she is adorned with a necklace, earrings, and bracelets, and her himation (mantle) has dropped down to her waist, thus exposing her breasts seductively revealed beneath a diaphanous chiton. Menelaos wears only a chlamys and a baldric across his chest. Aphrodite wears ornately decorated shoes and a long chiton (robe) decorated down the front. She is also adorned with a necklace, earrings, and bracelets, and is well-coiffed, with hair drawn up to the top of her head by a kekryphalos, a cloth for binding up hair that leaves it projecting from the back in a ponytail fashion. Eros wears white shoes, bracelets, and anklets.
Having fallen upon his shield in front of the altar of Zeus, the Trojan Deiphobus lies mortally wounded by Menelaos. At the left, a terrified guard or member of the royal household is richly dressed in eastern attire and looks on as the suppliant king of Troy, Priam, begs for his life. The king, dislodged from the altar of Zeus, is about to be dispatched to the afterlife at the hands of Neoptolemos who holds a sword to the king’s neck. Neoptolemos is nude except for a chlamys (cloak) and his pointed helmet with cheek pieces raised up along the sides of the helmet. A shield leans backward near his right leg. Priam holds a long decorated staff or scepter and wears a red Phrygian style cap and ornate boots. He is regally dressed in a white long-sleeved tunic over which is worn a long flowing outer garment, the decoration of which indicates it is embellished with embroidery. At the right, the old priestess Theano, holding a temple key in her left hand, is pleading with her right arm extended as she implores Ajax not to harm Kassandra, and commit a sacrilege by raping her within the sanctuary. Ajax is nude except for his crested helmet, sword, shield, and the drapery of his garment that flows down from his left arm. Kassandra kneels before the statue of Athena, which she grasps in desperation with the sword of Ajax positioned just above her head.
On the left side of the lower register the old queen Hecuba kneels near the naked body of a slain Trojan, her right hand raised up and her left hand held to her face in a gesture of great lamentation. Below, the Greek woman, Aithra, sits on the ground and welcomes her grandson, Akamai, as her liberator. Nearby is a branch of laurel, a bucranium, and a small altar, or perhaps a pedestal for the dislodged tripod that lies at the right. To the right of the central group of figures, Odysseus approaches Polyxena, the daughter of Priam and Hecuba. She sits despondently on a bundle, seemingly resigned to her fate, which is to be sacrificed at the tomb of Achilles by Neoptolemos to appease the ghost of Achilles, and thus raise the winds that will take the Greek ships home. A white-painted hydria, or water jug, is depicted just above and to the left of her head. Polyxena wears ornate shoes, a necklace, and bracelet, but is otherwise simply dressed in a chiton and wrapped in a himation. Odysseus holds a long spear and is richly attired with an ornately crested helmet, bandoliers on his chest, and a protective cuirass covering his abdomen. He wears highly decorated boots and chiton, and a mantle across his shoulders. Beneath this pair, a slain or mortally wounded Trojan lies nude with his arms and legs sprawled out from his body; nearby is a white pilos hat, a phiale, and an overturned vessel.
Typical for works by the Darius Painter and other South Italian vase painters, the decoration for the reverse, or back side of the vase, is ornate but relatively simple and schematic in its iconography. A warrior stands within a white naiskos having ionic columns and acroteria of palmettes in added white; the pedestal of the naiskos is embellished with a scroll of volutes and flowers, also in added white. The warrior wears a fillet and a chlamys clasped at the neck. With his right foot resting upon a pile of stones, he holds up a crested helmet in his right hand and steadies a shield in his left; a fillet hangs below the helmet. In the upper part of the scene, two pairs of figures flank the naiskos: at the left a nude youth is seated upon a mantle and holds a large shallow phiale in his right hand and a staff in his left. A woman stands before him, her legs crossed, holding a beaded fillet in one hand and mirror in the other. To the right of the naiskos a woman seated upon a mantle holds a long spray of flowers in her right hand as she turns to look at a youth who leans forward to touch her shoulder. The youth holds a staff in his left hand and, like the warrior, has his right foot resting upon a pile of stones. He wears a fillet and a himation, which is loosely draped across his shoulder, chest, and thigh. At the lower left of the scene a youth facing the naiskos stands holding a beaded fillet in his right hand and a box or cista in his left. At the right a female figure strides toward the naiskos. She holds an ornate mirror in her right hand and a laurel branch decorated with a billowing white fillet in her left hand. A white fillet hangs below the mirror. The women are all similarly dressed: wearing foot coverings indicated in added white, necklaces, bracelets, one wearing an anklet, and long, belted chitons; their hair is gathered up into kekryphaloi. The youths, although virtually nude, are also dressed alike and wear only fillets around their heads with mantles loosely draped across their bodies, or forming a comfortable surface on which to sit. Subsidiary decoration of the vase consists of an egg and dart pattern encircling the edge of the lip and shoulder, with a band of tongues around the shoulder where it joins the neck; masks painted in added white, with painted details on the front side of the vase, decorate the volutes; three-dimensional protomes of water-birds flank the handles at the shoulders. On the front side of the vase, the neck is decorated with a band of rosettes, a row of white-painted palmettes enclosed within crossed volutes that form heart shapes, and a highly stylized frieze of downward and upward facing acanthus flowers and leaves from which spring winged female figures. The first figure holds a "xylophone" in her right hand and phiale in her left; the next figure, partially preserved, holds a bell in her right hand; the central figure appears with her
right hand raised; the next figure holds a phiale and a wreath; and the last figure on the far right is gazing to the right with her hands lowered. On the back side of the vase the neck is decorated with a band of the "running wave" motif, a vine of ivy with berries in added white, and a palmette-volute scroll that surrounds a large female head. Palmettes and volute scrolls decorate the sides of the vase beneath the handles.
CONDITION Complete; reassembled from large fragments and restored: the missing parts from the rim, neck, shoulder, and body, and the related painting were recreated in distinct acrylic paint; the masks in the volutes of handles on the side A were repainted and side B lost the original painting; a chip and scratch on the base of the foot.
The Darius Painter, who takes his name from the famous krater in Naples that depicts the enthroned Persian king, Darius, is one of the foremost artists of South Italian vase painting. He preferred to paint vases of large dimensions and was one of the first vase painters to explore new canons of figural arrangement for the relatively expansive area to be decorated. As the noted scholar of South Italian vase painting, A. D. Trendall, has pointed out, new vases attributed to the Darius Painter serve to enhance and further his reputation as one of the greatest of Apulian vase painters – an artist who demonstrates a remarkable range of subject matter, especially in the field of mythology. A competent painter as well as draftsman, he is fond of representing the human figure in three quarter view, as he does so ably – almost in a manner heralding Renaissance perspective – with the portrayal of the mortally wounded male figure depicted at the lower right on the front side of this volute krater. The faces of his figures are also remarkably expressive, which the artist makes possible through subtle and exact drawing of a figure’s eyes and mouth. The fold-lines of his drapery are clearly drawn, but break up across the body to suggest a three dimensional, voluminous aspect that may be used to indicate either billowing or draping cloth. As a master artist, the Darius Painter exercised a dominating influence on all subsequent Apulian vase painting. He was the first among late Apulian vase painters to explore the possibilities that monumental vases offer for decoration. This volute krater, which depicts an emotionally wrenching view of the Iliupersis and the misery associated with the termination of the Trojan War, stands as an equal to the Darius Painter’s most important works.
Formerly, Swiss private collection, acquired in 1994 – 1995; Ex- Pierre Sciclounoff collection, Geneva, Switzerland; Ex- Piere Bouffard collection, Geneva, Switzerland, before 1964.
PUBLISHED Homère chez Calvin: Figures de l’hellénisme à Genève, Geneva, 2000, p. 261 no. C18.
BIBLIOGRAPHY CAMBITOGLOU A., CHAMAY J., AELLEN C., Le peintre de Darius et son mileau: vases grecs d’Italie méridionale, Geneva, 1986, pp. 111-117, for a comparable volute krater by the Darius Painter depicting the departure of Amphiaros, Cleveland Museum of Art 88.41. HEDREEN G., Capturing Troy: The Narrative Functions of Landscape in Archaic and Early Classical Greek Art, Michigan, 2001, for extensive bibliography and further references regarding the fall of Troy, particularly the death of Priam, rape of Kassandra, recovery of Helen, sanctuaries of Zeus and of Troy: pp. 22-90. Homére chez Calvin, Geneva, 2000, pp. 189-190, 261, no. C 20. MAYO M., The Art of South Italy: Vases from Magna Graecia, Richmond, 1982, pp. 79, 126-27, nos. 48, 49 for the Darius Painter. MORET J. L’Ilioupersis dans la Ceramique Italiote 1, Rome, 1975, for volute kraters with scenes of the Iliupersis: British Museum F 160, attributed to the Ilioupersis Painter, pl. 8, 9, 10.1; British Museum F 278, pl. 20, 21; Berlin 1968.11, pl. 22, 23. PADGETT J. et al., Vase-Painting in Italy: Red-Figure and Related Works in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 1993, pp. 110-122, nos. 41-44, for the Darius Painter and further references. SCHMIDT M., Der Dareiosmaler und sein Umkreis:Untersuchungen zur spätapulischen Vasenmalerei, Münster, 1960. TRENDALL A. D., Red Figure Vases of South Italy and Sicily, New York, 1989, pp. 89-90, ﬁgs. 200-206; ﬁg. 203, Darius Painter’s volute krater (name piece) depicting Darius, Naples 3253; ﬁg. 204, his volute krater depicting the funeral of Patroclus, Naples 3254. TRENDALL A. D., CAMBITOGLOU A., First Supplement to the Red-Figured Vases of Apulia, London, 1983, p. 78, no. 41a, pl. 12, Darius Painter’s volute krater depicting Medea at Eleusis, Princeton University Art Museum. TRENDALL A. D., CAMBITOGLOU A., Second Supplement to the RedFigured Vases of Apulia 1, London, 1991, pp. 146-147, pl. 35.1, Darius Painter’s volute krater depicting the horses of Rhesos, Berlin 1984.39; his volute krater depicting an assembly of divinities, Leningrad inv. 1709. VIRGIL, The Aeneid 2:1-998, “The Final Hours of Troy,” translated by FAGLES R., New York, 2006, pp. 74-102.
9 Monumental head of the Emperor Hadrian (117-138 A.D.) Roman Imperial, ca.130 A.D. Marble H: 45 cm
This very impressive head represents the Emperor Hadrian (r. 117138 A.D.) at the height of his power. His face is turned decisively to the right, looking sternly at his subordinates. This fierceness is enhanced by the presence of an oak wreath, whose ribbon has been knotted at the back, with its two ends falling on both sides of the neck. It is adorned with a central medallion, probably originally painted with the motive of an eagle, a direct allusion to Jupiter, as is the crown. Above the wreath, five carefully drilled holes bear testimony to another godlike feature: The emperor wore a radiate crown, probably made of gilded bronze pegs. The large tenon/dowel at the base of the neck clearly indicates that the head was set atop a statue. The straight cutting of the neckline reveals that it was a cuirassed one. The sight must have been quite impressive, as the height of the head indicates larger-than-life proportions. The statue, showing the emperor as commander in chief, must have been about 220 cm high, and was set on an inscribed base roughly 100 cm high. As he gazes to the right, we can imagine a pose typical of the Greek sculptor Polykleitos, with the weight of the body on the right leg and just the toes of the left foot touching the ground. He might have held a lance in his left hand while making a rhetorical gesture with his right, like the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta. The decoration of the armour could simply be a gorgoneion – the head of Medusa – or a motif typical of Hadrian’s propaganda in the East, the figure of an archaistic Athena Promachos crowned by two Nikai and standing on the Lupa Romana with the twins Romulus and Remus. A general’s cloak, the paludamentum, may have hung from the left shoulder or have been attached to the right one and flung across the chest to cover the back. The portrait represents the emperor in line with the type created in 127/128 A.D. for his decennalia (anniversary of ten years of reign) and his acceptance of the title Pater Patriae (Father of the Country). In the Greek world it is associated with Hadrian’s title of Olympios, received in Athens in 128 A.D., directly linking him to the great god Zeus. This piece is the most important of Hadrian’s portraits: It was spread throughout the Roman Empire and there are more than 30 replicas still in existence today. It shows the emperor as a very energetic and thoughtful man and is the only portrait of Hadrian with a double row of locks above the temples. The piece was a huge success in the East and in North Africa, and has also been linked to his travels there.
This head is an early example of the "Pater Patriae" type as the eyes have not yet been incised, a technical novelty that was first used in this same portrait series around 128 A.D. and rapidly became widespread, becoming practically compulsory after 138 A.D. (beginning of Antoninus Pius’ reign). The sculptor was very precise in his rendering of the locks of hair and the beard, and even adopted the turn of the head to the right, typical of the "Pater Patriae" type. He neglected to delineate the locks above the wreath, which is usual for such a work, for they would have been completely invisible. Moreover, the sculptor left the marble unfinished under the knot of the ribbon at the back, thus reinforcing the piece and assuring its stability in the dowel hole of the statue by putting more weight on an invisible spot (a so-called neck support). The surface of the coarse crystalline marble (possibly Thasian) appears very fresh. One can discern marks left by the carving implements. The crown of the head has been carved with a tooth chisel held almost vertically. The skin has been carefully smoothed, though rasp marks can be spotted behind the taenia (ribbons). The surface of the ribbons, the wreath’s leaves and the eyes have deliberately been left unpolished, still showing the rasp’s marks, for a very good reason: These parts were originally painted (the eyes) or possibly even gilded (the wreath). With the head turned to the right, the sculptor took more care to finish the left side of the face and ear; the difference in detail between both ears is especially visible. A drill has been used between the main locks around the face, and drill holes help to separate the lobes of the oak leaves. The hair has been efficiently, precisely and soberly carved with a chisel. Most of the crowned imperial portrait heads of the second century A.D. originate from the provinces of the Roman Empire. The oak crown is more frequent in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean, but the sculptural treatment of this head is more akin to what we find in North Africa. This kind of crown is rarely represented in Italy, where it originates from the decoration received by soldiers for saving a Roman life (ob cives servatos). The immanent hieratic impression is also typical of North Africa. Hadrian visited the African provinces (Africa Proconsolaris, Numidia, Mauretania Caesarensis) in 128 A.D. and gave a famous speech to the legions in the military camp of Lambaesis. Images of the emperor found in these provinces follow the "Pater Patriae" type, and most of them must have been dedicated during his stay there. It is tempting to imagine that this beautiful head was one of them.
CONDITION The head is remarkably well preserved: the left wing and tip of the nose and the left part of the lower lip have been restored; the ends of some locks of hair are broken.
PROVENANCE Formerly, French private collection, acquired in 1947.
BIBLIOGRAPHY BERGMANN M., Die Strahlen der Herrscher: theomorphes Herrscherbild und politisches Symbolik im Hellenismus und im Hellenismus und in der römischen Kaiserzeit, Mainz am Rhein, 1998. EVERS C., Les portraits d’Hadrien. Typologie et ateliers, Mémoires de l’Académie Royale de Belgique, Classe des Beaux-Arts, Section d’Histoire et de Critique, III.7, Brussels, 1994. FITTSCHEN K., ZANKER P., Katalog der römischen Porträts in den Capitolinischen Museen und den anderen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom I: Die männlichen Privatporträts, Mainz am Rhein, 1985. FITTSCHEN K, Werkstattfragen: Zu den Büsten Hadrian mit Bildnissen im Typus ‘Imperatori 32’, in Amicitiae Gratia. Festschrift für Alkmini Stavridi, Athens, 2008, pp. 169-178. KARANASTASI P., Hadrian im Panzer. Kaiserstatuen zwischen Realpolitik und Philhellenismus, in Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 127/128, 2012/2013, 323-391. ZANKER P., Provinzielle Kaiserporträts. Zur Rezeption der Selbstdarstellung des Princeps, Munich, 1983.
10 Steatopygous "Idol" Anatolian, Neolithic, ca. 6000–5000 B.C. Serpentine H: 10.5 cm – L: 10 cm – W: 8.5 cm
This statuette is exceptional because of its relatively large size, skillfully designed composition, harmonious proportions, and the beauty of the highly polished stone. The entire composition received the pyramidal form, where the enormous buttocks and thighs establish the base for the torso (in this way, very similar to the headless figurine of the "Fat Lady of Saliagos", Paros Museum, Greece), with surmounting head which follows the median axis almost exactly. The represented figure is sitting on the ground in a very particular pose with the right leg crossed in front and the other bent underneath with the left foot seen from the side. The figure is impressive in contrasting corpulent forms and delicate feet and hands; the latter are arranged symmetrically and rest on the thighs framing the lower part of the mid-section. This "idol" is possibly from the largest Neolithic settlement at Çatalhöyük although there are parallels found in other sites in Turkey, and Malta as well. Both the sophistication and distinctive level of abstraction define the present artwork. It is organized as a combination of rounded, well-articulated volumes, and the lack of details is a typical characteristic. The hair and the facial features are not indicated here (only a median line corresponds to the placement of the nose) although they could be represented in other contemporary figurines. The reason for omitting is probably the artist’s idea to keep the image without gender, age, and other individual attributes. The "idol" has considerable tactile appeal and was most likely designed to be handled. One does not exclude the opportunity that such figures were manipulated in some way during certain public or private rituals and ceremonies. Similar statuettes, both of stone and clay, were discovered both in shrines and houses. The Neolithic stone statues and statuettes from Malta, very close in composition and shape to the present sculpture, have completely flat backs and it has been suggested that they were meant to stand against the wall. Statuettes of sitting, standing or reclining figures with overexaggerated, voluminous shapes (especially of buttocks, breasts, and mid-sections) are characteristic for the Neolithic culture and found in many areas of the Near East, the greater Mediterranean area, and also in Eastern, Central and Western Europe. They vary greatly in style (with a more naturalistic or schematic approach in modeling the body, head and facial features) and material: commonly executed in baked clay, they can also be of white or grey marble, semi-translucent alabaster, or colored stones such as dark green steatite, greenish grey schist, or dark brown and green or green serpentine. The use of colored stone is more typical for the figurines found in Anatolia. 60
It is generally assumed that the steatopygous form relates such figures to the fertility goddess, the Great Mother, whose cult was primary in the religion of early human civilization. She was considered the Mistress of life and death for human, animal, and vegetation. This present statuette slightly differs from the known type, because instead of the ample mid-section that shows the sign of pregnancy, the waist is thin and the breasts are small, which may suggest that the person is young, healthy, and sexually attractive. This brings the idea that the concept of this image also included the implications of the goddess of beauty.
CONDITION Completely intact and in an excellent state of preservation; the surface is slightly weathered with few cracks and minor losses of material along the natural veins, a small pitted area on the top of the right buttock; traces of original polishing and tooling.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Mme. A.T. private collection, Geneva; Ex- Swiss private collection, Geneva, ca. 1975.
BIBLIOGRAPHY BAILEY D., Prehistoric Figurines Representation and Corporality in the Neolithic, London, New York, 2005. COHEN C., La femme des origins: image de la femme dans la préhistoire occidentale, Paris, 2003. GIMBUTAS M. et al., Achilleion, A Neolithic Settlement in Thessaly, Greece, Los Angeles, 1989. GREGORY I. V., The Human Form in Neolithic Malta, Sta Venera, 2005. HÖCKMANN O., The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Idols of Anatolia, in THIMME J., ed., Art and Culture in the Cyclades in the Third Millennium B.C., Chicago, London, 1977, pp. 173-184, 398-399, 569-570, nos. 553557. LESURE R. G., Interpreting Ancient Figurines: Context, Comparison, and Prehistoric Art, Cambridge, 2011. LIGABUE G., ROSSI-OSMIDA G., eds., Dea Madre, Milan, 2007. MELLAART J., The Neolithic of the Near East, London, 1975. MINA M., Anthropomorphic Figurines from the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Aegean: Gender Dynamics and Implications of Early Aegean Prehistory, Oxford, 2008. PAPATHANASSOPOULOS G., ed., Neolithic Culture in Greece, Athens, 1996, p. 319, no. 240. PEARSON J., MESKELL L., NAKAMURA C., LARSEN C. S., Reconciling the Body, in HODDER I., MARCINIAK A., eds., Assembling Çatalhöyük, Leeds, 2015, pp. 75-86. WEINBERS S. S., Anthropomorphic Stone Figurines from Neolithic Greece, in THIMME J., ed., Art and Culture in the Cyclades in the Third Millennium B.C., Chicago, London, 1977, pp. 52-58, 208-220, 415-425, nos. 1-24. Woman in Anatolia, 9000 Years of the Anatolian Woman, Istanbul, 1993.
11 Bracelet with terminals in the form of confronting goats East Greek, 5th century B.C. Gold and Agate D: 11 cm
Finely detailed goat-protomes of banded agate form the terminals of this rare gold bracelet from the easternmost reaches of Classical Greece, where a rich and longstanding artistic heritage of Asia Minor and Western Asia inspired artists to create fascinating objects of exquisite beauty. The heraldic or confronting image of goats, as well as other real and mythological animals, is a motif that has a long history in the iconography of Western Asia, and it is an artistic concept that influenced Greek art from the Mycenaean period onward. As small-scale sculptures, the goats are delicately carved and their capricious nature is effectively conveyed by their confronting pose, which is in keeping with the often observed behavior for these animals. Whether domesticated or in the wild, where their greatest natural range extends from northwestern India to Crete, goats are known for their agility and ruggedness, and their ability to climb and survive in mountainous habitats on sparse vegetation. Therefore it is not unusual that these members of the genus Capra, among the first domesticated animals, should appear in the art and iconography of these regions as symbols of endurance, resilience, and strength. Although the goat-protomes of this bracelet are similar and almost mirror opposites, the sensitivity of the ancient artist to the material with which he worked is apparent, as each animal is individualized by utilizing the nuances of banded agate. The artist gave the goats different markings, just as one may find these animals in the natural world. The nose and mouth of one goat is distinguished by a band of white around the muzzle with lighter brown stone at the end of the nose, while beneath the other goat, the area of the abdomen is marked with a semi-circular band of white bordering light brown stone; the forelegs of both animals are banded and mottled differently with white and light brown coloration as found in the seemingly random coloration of some goat species. The artist also made full use of the stoneâ€™s translucency, as the finely carved horns and particularly the ears of the animals allow the light to pass through, which provides the carefully worked agate with subtle nuances of shading. The finely detailed lines that indicate the long, thick locks of wavy goat hair add different textures to the animals, and successfully replicate their natural appearance. This treatment is juxtaposed by a polished surface finish that suggests smooth, short hair that would be found around the goatâ€™s faces.
The hoop of the bracelet is formed of hammered sheet gold rolled into a tubular form. At the ends, where it joins the terminals, the collars are ringed with two zones of decoration made with beaded wire, the designs consisting of double spirals and teardrop-shapes, each zone being bordered by a double ring of beaded wire.
CONDITION Intact; remains of soil inside few teardrop-shapes and along the seam line of the hoop.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Swiss private collection, acquired in the 1950s-1960s.
BIBLIOGRAPHY For comparable bracelets with animal-terminals: WILLIAMS D. and OGDEN J., Greek Gold: Jewelry of the Classical World, New York, 1994, pp. 140-141, no. 83, gold bracelet with sphinx protomes, one of a pair, ca. 400-350 B.C., Hermitage KO 20; pp. 156-157, no. 96, pair of silver bracelets with gold lion-heads, ca. 400-380 B.C., Hermitage P. 1854.28-9; pp. 182-83, no. 118, pair of gold bracelets with terminals in the form of leaping rams, 330-300 B.C., Hermitage BB 194-5; pp. 228-229, no. 161, pair of gold bracelets with ram-head terminals, 450-400 B.C., British Museum GR 1896.2-1. 141.2; p. 250, no. 189, pair of gold lion-head bracelets, 450-400 B.C., Metropolitan Museum of Art, 74.51.3560-1. PICON C. et al., Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007, pp. 170, 440, no. 197, pair of rock crystal bracelets with gold rams-head terminals, ca. 330-300 B.C., MMA 37.11.16-17. Also in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art: silver bracelet with gold lion-head terminals, 5th - 4th century B.C., MMA 30.115.86; gold and copper alloy bracelet with lion-head terminals, 5th century B.C., MMA 74.51.3559; silver bracelet with gold calf-head terminals, late 6th - 5th century B.C., MMA 1986.11.11; bronze bracelet with couchant horses at terminals, Western Iranian, 1st millenium B.C., MMA 1988.102.14; bronze bracelet with couchant leonine animals confronting, Iranian, 6th century B.C., MMA 1988.102.15; silver and electrum bracelet with lion-head terminals, Iranian, 1st millennium B.C., MMA 51.72.3.
12 Large cylinder "Idol" Iberian, Iberian Bronze Age I, 3rd millennium B.C. Marble H: 31 cm â€“ D: 15.5 cm
This exceptional work of art resembles a column with the walls flared slightly outward at the top and the bottom. The incised abstracted decoration reproduces many details of the human face: the eyebrows, the wheel-shaped eyes above some tattoos (or a beard?), the long hair across the top and back whose undulating lines evoke the waves of the sea. Aside from these "classical" traits, this work presents numerous peculiarities. It is the only Iberian "idol" known on which the hands and the arms are clearly incised; the right hand holds a small object resembling a stick which could be another cylindrical "idol" or perhaps a scepter. Also, at the center of the lower part of the work, a small vertical protrusion might represent a penis. This object belongs to the prehistoric civilization of the Iberian Peninsula: it is a rare cylindrical type "idol" that is well known from the sculpture of the region. These objects are usually categorized into three groups: the less decorated or plain type, the intermediate type (with eyes and tattoos, but without hair) and the most richly detailed works, like this one (cf. variant IV, D of the classification of M. J. Almagro Gorbea).
CONDITION Practically intact with the exception of a small fragment beneath the left eye and some chips on the base.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Swiss private collection, acquired on the European art market, 1988.
BIBLIOGRAPHY On Bronze Age Iberian â€œidols", see: ALMAGRO GORBEA M. J., Los idolos del Bronce I hispano, Madrid, 1973, pp. 134- 143, pl. 16-22 (cf. also p. 219, pl. 35 ; pl. 34 ; p. 251, pl. 39). HIBBS V. H. et al., Iberian Antiquities from the Collection of L. Levy and S. White, New York, 1993, p. 24, n. 1. SPYCKET A., The Human Form Divine, Jerusalem, 2000, pp. 86-89. On the â€œMother Goddess, see: GIMBUTAS M., The Language of the Goddess, London, 1989, pp. 54-57.
Many iconographic and morphological elements mark this particular example as a masterpiece among Iberian "idols": its unusual size, its technical and artistic qualities, the fact that it may be the only explicitly male representation known (of a god or a particularly important person such as a priest or prince), with the presence of arms and hands that are clearly incised, as well as the long, rectangular object. The significance of these cylindrical "idols" is unknown: certain scholars associate them with the Neolithic Mother Goddess figure, originally from the Near East, whose cult of fertility and fecundity was known throughout Mesopotamia, Anatolia, the Balkans, Central and Western Europe and0 on the British Isles. In Iberia, where the archaeological context is known, these "idols" are commonly related to the funerary world: in their different forms, they come from tombs and necropoleis. However, their precise function within the context of these rites or funerary cults has yet to be explained.
13 "Ennion" cup Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 25–75 A.D. Light cobalt blue glass H: 6 cm – L: 14 cm
Exquisitely fashioned vessels of mold blown glass signed by Ennion as maker are undoubtedly the rarest type of glass known from classical antiquity. The superb quality of their design combined with a sensitivity to shape – and the fact that they are signed by this great master – make the few examples of his glass that exist among the most sought after objects from the classical world. Pure luxuria of the highest form, Ennion’s glass vessels embody the appeal of luxurious objects that must have been as pleasing to Roman Imperial taste as it is to discriminating and knowledgeable collectors in our own time. Taking into account complete glass vessels and fragments, Ennion’s works total slightly more than fifty in number. So highly prized throughout the Roman empire, they have been found across the Mediterranean world from Israel to Spain. This two-handled cup of cobalt blue glass made by Ennion, the first glassmaker to sign such vessels, can be considered a masterwork that joins the extremely small corpus of his glass. The blue color of the glass may have been particularly desirable as it imitates the semi-precious stone of lapis lazuli while additionally suggesting the blue of a midnight sky. The position of Ennion’s signature as maker is recorded in Greek in three lines – ENNIWN/EPOIH/CEN – "Ennion made [it/me]," in the tabula ansata prominently placed front and center. This suggests Ennion was owner and leading craftsman of this highly successful establishment, which provided the wealthiest households of the Roman empire with the finest glass tableware known at the time. Although his name is inscribed in Greek it is not a Greek one, leading to speculation that he is of Semitic origin. Furthermore, Ennion’s glass was very likely produced in the ancient city of Sidon, Lebanon, which possessed all of the raw materials necessary for glass-making and additionally was a trading center for the Mediterranean region. As with his other cups, on the opposite side is another tabula ansata bearing a Greek inscription – MNHOH/O A OPA/ZNW – which translated is primarily intended to mean "may the buyer be remembered." Such a complementary motto gives a blessing to the user and in the case of a drinking vessel is the equivalent of a toast. Ennion’s distinctive vessels feature a range of abstract, architectural, and natural forms that achieve an effect of both simplicity and grace. The decoration of this cup follows the design of equally rare examples of Ennion’s work. It is so identical in form to some of his other cups that it was probably made using sections of the same molds, as Ennion is known to
be among the first glassworkers who perfected the use of molds to make multiples of the same designs. The rim of the cup is encircled by a plain band above two friezes in relief. The upper frieze between the handles on each side of this cup features a tabula ansata flanked on the front by vine sprays with leaves and bunches of grapes and on the back by ivy sprays with leaves and berries. A narrow horizontal zone separates the upper from the lower frieze, which is decorated with closely set vertical flutes rounded at both ends. On the underside of the cup a radiating pattern of lozenges surround raised concentric circles on the base. Close parallels to this type of two-handled cup signed by Ennion are in the collections of the Louvre (no. MNC 3), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (no. 17.194.225), the Corning Museum of Glass (no. 66.1.36), and museums in Adria (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, no. IGAD, 491M), Pavia (Musei Civici, no. A243), and Turin (Museo di Antichita, no. 75699). Made of translucent yellow green, cobalt blue, or blue green glass, all of these cups were included in the renowned exhibition "Ennion: Master of Roman Glass" celebrating the exquisite works of this artist. The ability to make blown glass was discovered by the later half of the first century B.C. This technical achievement, first made in Jerusalem or the surrounding region, became a revolutionary breakthrough for glass production. It allowed glassmakers the ability to produce glass vessels quicker and easier, and to develop new shapes and decorative techniques. Blowing glass into a multipart mold with a design on the interior was developed about half a century later, likely in the coastal area of Syria and Palestine before spreading around the Mediterranean. Ennion was one of the first, and certainly the finest artist, to take advantage of the new technique beginning in the first decades of the first century A.D. His mold-blown tableware includes jugs, amphorae, hexagonal bottles, bowls, and various forms of one-handled or two-handled cups. Many of these have been discovered in datable contexts from the late Tiberian to early Claudian period, when they were first produced, and remained in fashion until the late Neronian and early Flavian periods. Because of his refined workmanship he stands apart from other producers of mold-blown glass and it appears that finds of his glass are dated earlier than most other examples. Not only was Ennion the first maker of Roman mold-blown glass, judging from his works he was, and is, the most accomplished and famous.
CONDITION Complete with both handles; no restorations or repairs.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Swiss private collection, 1992.
BIBLIOGRAPHY LIGHTFOOT, C., Ennion: Master of Roman Glass, New Haven, 2014, exhibition catalog, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, December 9, 2014 â€“ April 13, 2015; with extensive bibliography; see pp. 94-103, nos. 15-20. PRICE, J., Decorated Mould-Blown Glass Tablewares in the First Century AD, in NEWBY M. and PAINTER K., eds., Roman Glass: Two Centuries of Art and Invention, London, 1991, pp. 56-75.
14 Head of a Goddess Greek, Classical, ďŹ rst half of the 4th century B.C. Marble H: 26.4 cm
This beautiful female head, of especially noble appearance, belonged to the statue of a goddess. The ideally regular features and expression of dignity leave no doubt that the head represents a deity rather than a portrait of a mortal. Carved separately from the body, the rounded shape of the neck base was prepared to fit into the socket on the upper part of the figure. This was a regular practice in Greek and Roman sculpture, due sometimes to the process of carving the body from the available blocks of white marble, while the piece of highest quality was reserved for the head, and in other cases aiming to create a more elaborate composite, and thus a more valuable, sculpture. The use of different marbles and stones with their contrasting colors (white versus greenish, grey, red, brown, black; solid or with light colored veins) would bring a strong decorative effect. It could also be an acrolithic statue, a combination of marble and wooden parts, the latter having painted or perhaps gilded. The face of the young woman is narrow with a perfect oval shape terminating in a rounded chin. The completely preserved straight nose and forehead make a unique plane; two lines from the broad nasal bridge are continued to form the eyebrows, - these features present the ideal of human beauty adopted by Greek sculptors of the Classical period. The large eyes have remarkably articulated eye-globes which stress the impression of the downward gaze. The inner canthi are marked by indentations; the lower eyelids are characteristically slightly thinner than the upper lids which are clearly delineated by carving. The deep incised line between the full lips makes them appear slightly parted. The forehead is high and has a triangular form shaped by the waving strands of hair. The hair is parted in the middle, combed along the forehead, and twisted over the temples and ears forming a full roll of hair that is gathered into a broad bun at the nape. Such a hairstyle was usually composed with a fillet, not shown here; it was introduced in the 5th century B.C. and lasted through the 4th century throughout the Greek world, but the thicker masses of wavy locks on the sides are characteristic for the first half of the 4th century (the comparisons would be the woman’s head on the family group stele of 360 B.C. at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, acc. no. 11.100.2, or a few stelai of the first half of the 4th century B.C. in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens). The multiple lines lightly chiseled to show the long locks on the top of the head and rolls of the sides, if not copying a model in bronze, indicate, perhaps, the style of a regional school
or individual manner (the preference for detailing) of a sculptor, probably working both in local soft limestone and marble (a comparison would be the woman’s head from Arsos, Nikosia Museum, Cyprus). The statement that the head was part of a cult statue is stressed by the fact of supplying the sculptural image with attributes and offerings. The latter, earrings of bronze, silver, or gold, once offered by a worshipper, is evidenced by the surviving holes in her earlobes. Another deep hole is visible directly above the middle of the forehead and parted hair, which suggests that a pin was introduced there to attach a diadem or crescent and distinguish the sculpture as a representation of a certain Goddess (Aphrodite or Artemis). Many Greek statues from the Archaic and Classical period have such drilled holes on their heads with the metal pins remaining and it is also suggested that they were sometimes used to attached a metal flower, crescent, disc, or umbrella to protect the statue from birds, these were called meniskoi. Considering the juvenescence of the goddess, she would be ever young as Artemis, with a diadem or crescent (specific for the syncretism with the moon goddess, Selene), or Aphrodite, with a more elaborate diadem, stephane, embellished with rosettes, floral buds, or leaves, as is often shown in representations of the goddess on the Greek vases. The headdress of a goddess placed very close to the front of the head could also be a tall polos divided into ornamented tiers, as seen on a terracotta figure of a goddess, Aphrodite or Tyche, the goddess of fortune, at the Metropolitan Museum (acc. no. L.2014. 51). The shallow relief preserved on the sides of the neck base indicates the dress, most probably a chiton, which appeared on the body. The head is inclined toward the right shoulder, and, as mentioned above, her gaze is downward as if looking at someone or something smaller at her side: thus Artemis looks at her animal companion, a sacred stag, or a hunting dog; and Aphrodite – at her son, Eros, or a dove on the altar (the latter marks the setting at the goddess’ sanctuary). The turn of the head indicates that she may have been composed to be seen from a specific angle, in three quarter view to a spectator, which can be attributed to a riding figure. The figures of Aurae (breezes) or Nereids on seahorses, the akroteria of the Asklepios temple in Epidauros, 375-370 B.C. (National Archaeological
Museum, Athens), or the marble group of Aphrodite riding on a goose (4th century B.C., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) are good examples of the entire composition in monumental scale; small objects present more comparisons: the golden earrings in the shape of Artemis riding a stag (325-300 B.C., the Hermitage Museum), the terracotta figurines of Aphrodite riding on a swan of the Hellenistic period, or the bronze mirror relief with Aphrodite riding on the back of a goat (ca. 370 B.C., the Louvre). The latter is the attribute of Aphrodite Pandemos (Common), the cult famous in Athens, where her temple was erected on the south-western slope of the Acropolis; Pausanias (Description of Greece 6.25.1) records the bronze statue made by Skopas for the precinct of Aphrodite Pandemos in Elis. Although the iconographical exploration cannot bring a definitive result, the artistic qualities and complexity of the composition places this marble artwork among the most remarkable Greek Classical sculptures of the first half of the 4th century B.C.
CONDITION Entirely preserved except for the frontal part of the neck base which is broken off; incrustation and a few scratches on the proper left side of the chin; the tip of the nose and the right earlobe with the piercing for the earring are damaged; no restoration or repairs.
PROVENANCE Formerly on the European art market; American private collection, New York, acquired August 10, 1990.
BIBLIOGRAPHY COMSTOCK M. B. and VERMEULE C. C., Sculpture in Stone: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 1976, pp. 32-33, no. 43; p. 35, no. 46. KALTSAS N., Sculpture in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Los Angeles, 2002, p. 163 no. 321, p. 166 no. 328, p. 168 no. 332, p. 176 no. 344. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae 2, Zürich, München, 1984, s.v. Aphrodite, pp. 95-101 nos. 899-986; s.v. Artemis, pp. 673-674 nos. 685699, pp. 689-690 nos. 900-910. RICHTER G. M. A., Catalogue of Greek sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, 1954, p. 56-57, no. 83, pls. 67, 68, b-d. RIDGWAY B. S., Hellenistic Sculpture: I, The Styles of ca. 331-200 B.C., Madison, 1990, p. 372, 379, pl. 187a-b (head from Arsos, Cyprus). RIDGWAY B. S., Birds, “Meniskoi”, and Head Attributes in Archaic Greece, in American Journal of Archaeology 94, 1990, pp. 583-612. WILLIAMS D., OGDEN J., Greek Gold: Jewelry of the Classical World, New York, 1994, pp. 173-174, no. 110 (Artemis riding a stag).
15 Three helmets of the Corinthian type Greek, ﬁrst half of the 7th century B.C.–ﬁrst half of the 6th century B.C. Bronze H: 22 cm not including the horns (1-with horns) H: 27 cm (2-with rings on top) H: 30 cm (3-with incised design)
33918 34150 34480
Each helmet was modeled from a single heavy sheet of bronze, probably cast and then hammered when cold. The skull is perfectly rounded. The surface is plain except for the incised decoration on helmet (3), where the rim received a double line of chevrons. The edges have small and regularly placed holes; helmet (2) preserves few tiny bronze and iron posts inserted to assist in securing an interior lining to the helmet. A padding of cloth or leather made it comfortable for the wearer and helped to absorb shock from blows to the head. A vertical opening at the front leaves the mouth largely unencumbered, while a long nose-guard protects the nasal ridge. Two large almond-shaped openings correspond to the eyes of the warrior. At the front, the helmet terminates with two wide, pointed cheek-guards that, unlike other types of helmets, are not removable but part of the headgear. The Corinthian type was developing continuously during three principal phases. The shape of the early one, which starts at the beginning of the 7th century B.C., has a straight wall and an edge which is not flared to the exterior. Helmet (1) belongs to the first phase; with only its posterior edge that is flared. Not so frequent, are there Corinthian helmets made of two halves with vertical or horizontal welding as seen here; which come mostly from southern Italy. In the second half of the 7th century the Corinthian helmet evolved to the shape which flares out at the back to protect the neck. The helmets with side cutouts (2 and 3), belong to this second phase and present the intermediate variant of the shape of Corinthian helmets from the first half of the 6th century B.C. The third phase from the second half of the 6th century B.C. is characterized by the introduction of separation between the cap and neck.
The Corinthian helmet was often adorned, mostly with two kinds of crests, one lying directly along the crown, the other positioned high and curling forward at the top. In addition, there were sometimes bovine ears or horns attached, as seen on helmet (1). During the Archaic period helmets known as Corinthian (that most probably originated in the city of Corinth) became a key component of the panoply for Greek infantrymen, the renowned hoplites. Appearing around 700 B.C., when they were already depicted on painted pottery, Corinthian helmets were the most common type in the Greek mainland and were commonplace in Western Greek colonies. Many examples come from the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia where they were offered as votive gifts in thanks for victory in battle. Their main advantage, that of almost completely enclosing and protecting the head and face, also generated their most obvious drawbacks, namely their heavy weight upon the head and most significantly, a severe disadvantage with regard to hearing and sight, because the ears were entirely covered, and the protection around the eyes restricted the field of vision. Both senses were crucially important in the heat of battle that almost always ended in hand to hand combat. For these reasons Corinthian helmets never completely supplanted other types of contemporary helmets. Technically, the manufacture of a helmet hammered from a single sheet of bronze is still deemed a considerable achievement nowadays. The process, which was almost certainly invented by the Greek blacksmiths of the time, is documented by a series of ancient images (statuettes, ceramics, glyptics) showing the craftsmen in their workshops during the successive phases of production.
CONDITION (1) Complete; parts of the cap, the edge of the posterior part, and the horns are partially restored; the surface has a green and brown patina and presents strong corrosion; the horns are attached with modern metal plates.; the helmet was made of two halves in antiquity: the join between the two elements is clearly visible inside and is neat and regular; rivets are located along the weld. (2) Complete and in good condition; slightly distorted; visible ancient restoration on the inside of the nasal protection, modern restoration on small area of the proper left side on the top; surface has a bright green patina with a few cracks and some calcium deposits; two rings and two holes on the top, which belonged to the attachment of the plume. (3) Complete and in good condition; partially restored at the interior of the cap and along the edge; surface has a green patina and is covered with corrosion; slightly distorted nasal protection; circular hole in the center of the cap.
PROVENANCE Formerly, M. Hiernaux collection, Stuttgart, Germany, late 1960s - early 1970s; Ex- private collection, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, since 1985.
BIBLIOGRAPHY On Greek helmets in general, see: FEUGÈRE M., Les casques antiques: Visages de la guerre de Mycènes à l’Antiquité tardive, Paris, 1994. SNODGRASS A. M., Arms and Armor of the Greeks, Baltimore, London, 1999. On the manufacturing technique and iconography showing blacksmiths at work: BORN H., HANSEN S., Frühgriechische Bronzehelme: Band III, Sammlung Axel Guttmann, Mainz am Rhein, 1994, pp. 103 ff. On helmets of the Corinthian type, see: Antike Helme: Sammlung Lipperheide und andere Bestände des Antikenmuseums Berlin, Mainz, 1988, pp. 65-106; 392 no.14; 404-405, nos. 26-27. PFLUG H., Schutz und Zier: Helme aus dem Antikenmuseum Berlin und Waffen anderer Sammlungen, Basel, 1989, pp. 20-22; pp. 51-59, nos. 5-22.
16 The "GrĂŠau" statuette of a goddess Graeco- Roman, 1st century B.C. Bronze H: 17.5 cm
This incredibly fine Graeco Roman bronze statuette of a woman possesses a strength of presence and exudes a sense of regal bearing far beyond what would be considered proportionate to her size. She is fully modeled in the round with great care taken to render the sensuous, softly clinging drapery of her dress, and her beautiful face is modeled after the Classical standards of idealized female beauty. The figure steps forward with her right foot, showing a bent, wellarticulated knee, and supports her weight on her straight back leg. Her shoulders tilt ever so slightly with the motion, and her head is also turned to the right, her posture completely in harmony with her movements. The female figure represented, probably an image of a goddess used for private devotions, is dressed in a long, flowing, sleeveless chiton over which is draped a himation fastened at the shoulders by two circular fibulae. The falling fabric is expertly executed, allowing the soft curves of her body to show. On the chest especially, the effect of the thin drapery of the cowl neck is wholly convincing, an illusion that reveals the hand of a master sculptor. The amount of detail devoted to this piece is exceptional: the contrast of the subtler, shallow folds with the dramatic relief of the mass of drapery down her back. Even the feet, shown wearing delicately strapped thong sandals with oval studs or medallions decorating the instep, are meticulously cast with well-delineated toes and miniscule toenails.
The goddessâ€™s body is also idealized: slender with long legs, a high chest, and slightly rounded, narrow shoulders with a long, straight neck on top of which she carries her head with noble bearing. Her face is oval shaped with soft, feminine features: high cheekbones, a rounded chin and a small, full-lipped mouth set in the typical "cupidâ€™s bow". Her pronounced, arched brows frame wide, heavylidded, almond-shaped eyes that stare out with an inscrutable, dignified look. The pupils are hollowed out, allowing the play of light and shadow on her face to create a truly arresting gaze. The low forehead is framed by the elegant and meticulously incised coiffure. The thick, wavy tresses are parted down the middle and held in place by a solid, crescent-shaped crown appliquĂŠd in the front with a central, silvered rosette flanked by two additional rosettes, now lost. The hair in front of the crown is pulled to the sides in long, thick waves that partially cover the ears, the higher degree of relief creating a more volumetric, heavy look than that of the hair at the crown and back of the head, which is also wavy but modeled closer to the skull for a smoother look. The ends of the tresses are pulled into a low, thick chignon at the base of the neck. A small, shallow hole at the crown of the head may have been used to attach a fabric veil, completing this regal portrait of a goddess.
The statuette is in excellent condition, completely intact except for the arms, which are often lost on ancient statuary as they were cast separately. The surface has a rich, hard, smooth patina that fades from dark brown to various shades of light and dark green and gold. The base of the bronze is outﬁtted with a metal tang for mounting (19th century).
In Pursuit of the Absolute Art of the Ancient World: from the George Ortiz Collection, Berne, 1994, no. 141 KOZLOFF A.P. & MITTEN D.G., The God’s Delight: The Human Figure in Classical Bronze, Cleveland Museum of Art, 1988 REINACH S., Répertoire de la Statuaire- Grecque et Romaine 2, Paris, 1898 & 1908, p. 333, no. 1 RIDGWAY B.S., Fifth Century Styles in Greek Sculpture, Princeton, 1981.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Jules Charvet collection (1824-1882), Château du Donjon, Le Pecq, France; Ex- Julien Gréau collection, acquired between 1866 and 1878, Troyes, France; Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Collection Julien Gréau. Catalogue des bronzes antiques et des objets d’art du Moyen-âge et de la Renaissance, 1-9 June 1885, no 935.
EXHIBITED Musée rétrospectif, Palais de l’Industrie, Champs-Elysées, Paris, 1865; L’Exposition Universelle Internationale, Palais du Trocadéro, Paris, 1 May - 10 November 1878; Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Collection Julien Gréau. Catalogue des bronzes antiques et des objets d’art du Moyen-âge et de la Renaissance, 1-9 June 1885, no. 935.
PUBLISHED Palais de l’industrie, Musée rétrospectif, Catalogue, Fascicule 2, Paris 1865, p.7, no. 66; LENORMANT F., Les antiques à l’exposition retrospective des ChampsÉlysées, in Gazette des Beaus Arts 20, February 1866, pp. 167–186 (illustrated); LENORMANT F., Books and monuments bearing upon figured representations of Antiquity. in The Contemporary Review, London, vol. XXXIII, Sept. 1878, 849. RAYET O., L’art grec au Trocadéro in L’Art Ancien à l’exposition de 1878, Paris 1879, pp.75-76, illus. p. 70p. DE BEAUMONT E. et al., Exposition universelle de 1878. in Les Beaux-arts et les arts décoratifs 2, Paris, 1879, pp. 70 (illustrated), 75, 77; Collection Julien Gréau, Catalogue des bronzes antiques et des objets d’art du Moyen-âge et de la Renaissance, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 1st-9th, 1885, no. 935, pl. XXVII; WIESLER F., Archäologische Excurse zu Pausinias, I,24,3I, and I, 27,8, in Nachrichten von der Königlichen, Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften und der Goerg-August-Universität, 1886, p.45; SITTL K., Archäologie der Kunst, Munich, 1895, p.237, note 18; REINACH S., Répertoire de la Statuaire- Grecque et Romaine 2, Paris, 1898 & 1908, p. 333, no. 1; Sotheby’s New York, 10 December 2008, Lot 34 (back cover).
17 Cameo with portraits of Philip the Arab and his family Roman, ca. mid 3rd century A.D. Sardonyx L: 6.7 cm â€“ W: 4.6 cm
This rare and historically significant gemstone depicting Philip the Arab and his family follows the long-standing tradition of Roman emperors immortalized by such carved cameos, which also served as luxurious works of art. Philip I, known by his imperial title as Marcus Julius Philippus, ruled from 244 to 249 A.D. Born in Syria, then part of the Roman province of Arabia, Philip became a major figure in the Roman empire after the death of Gordian III. Among early Christian writers he is known to have been sympathetic to Christianity. He is also known to have quickly negotiated peace with Sassanian Empire soon after the death of his predecessor. During his reign that the millennium celebration of Rome occurred, as it was founded according to tradition by Romulus in 753 B.C. Left of center on the cameo, Philip faces his wife, Otacilia (Marcia Otacilia Severa), the daughter of a Roman governor. Married in 234 A.D., they had three children. They are flanked by two of them, Philip II (Marcus Julius Philippus Severus) at the left, and at the right, their daughter, Julia Severa, also known as Severina. Appropriately dressed as a "soldier emperor," the laureate bust of a bearded Philip wears a paludamentum fastened at the right shoulder, under which his tunic is visible. His son, Philip II, is beardless and crowned with rounded diadem, which may allude to the young son being nominated by his father as Caesar and heir, just as Otacilia was proclaimed Augusta. The empress is appropriately adorned with earrings and a necklace and wears a melon-like coiffeur with ringlets of hair hanging down at the back of her neck. At the right Julia Severa is wrapped in a cloak and unadorned, but with her hair arranged to hang in heavy ringlets at the side and back of her head. Images of all four individuals are attested by the coinage of the period. One of the closest parallels to the format of this cameo of Philip the Arab and his family (not including Julia Severa), is the British Museum’s oval bronze seal bearing similar busts of Philip, Otacilia, and Philip II with the figure of Jupiter Serapis (BM 1866.0804.2).
Like this cameo of Philip the Arab and Family, multicolored gemstones cut in relief were often made from sardonyx, a type of multi-layered agate. The first examples appear at the end of the fourth and the beginning of the third centuries B.C. Gemcarvers chose from Arabian sardonyx in which blues and blacks are predominant, or from Indian sardonyx, like this example, which combined white and yellow with red-browns. Alexandria in Egypt is considered to be the source of the first cameos as it is from this city that the earliest known and famous gems originated. The cameos with portraits of Ptolemy II and Arsinoë, now in St. Petersburg and Vienna, were made by Greek masters at the Alexandrian court of the Ptolemies. While intaglio gems were sued for seals, in the Hellenistic and Roman periods the cameo became an object of luxury, as they could be used to adorn vessels and garments or be set in jewelry of the emperor and the Imperial court. While Romans called every polished stone a gem (Latin gemma, a gem or bud), the word cameo is used to describe carved stones with an image carved in relief as opposed to intaglio. The cameo’s high standing and rarity among carved gemstones, particularly those depicting Imperial portraits or scenes, lies with the stone’s polychromy and the ability of master gem carvers to achieve the illusion of depth and perspective within a relatively narrow field of carving. The art of creating cameos, therefore, demanded an extraordinary degree and skill and perseverance. Carving used the same tools as those for intaglio seals, but like most minerals utilized in glyptics, sardonyx is harder than metal and therefore the stone was not directly carved by a metal edge but with the assistance of abrasives. The image was painstakingly created, very slowly, and the making of a cameo could take many months. Besides the challenging hardness of the stone, it was essential to determine in advance the sequence of layers of the multicolored stone, which did not always run parallel and could change in thickness.
CONDITION Completely preserved; reassembled from three fragments; few fractures (across the necks and shoulders of the son, Philip, and Otacilia) and few chips at the back side.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Emma Frelinx (1884-1967) private collection, Brussels, Belgium.
BIBLIOGRAPHY BERNHARD-WALCHER A, GSCHWANTLER K., KRILLER B., KUGLER G., OBERLEITNER W., Meisterwerke aus der Antikensammlung des Kunsthistorischen Museums in Wien, Mainz, 1996, p. 101, no. 136; p. 109, no. 155. NEVEROV O, Antique Cameos in the Hermitage Collection, Leningrad, 1988 (in Russian), p. 124, no. 284.
18 "Eye-idol" atop an architectural structure Near Eastern, late 4th millennium B.C. Serpentine H: 28.5 cm
This spectacular and extremely rare work of ancient Near Eastern abstract sculpture is carved from a single block of stone and consists of two distinct parts. The upper one is known as an independent form which is designed as a body surmounted by two circular and perforated shapes. Because of this characteristic feature, it is recognized under the conventional term of an "idol with eyes", which is related to a wider class of "eye-idol" known in a variety of sizes, types of stone, and design. The history of their study goes back to the 1930â€™s, when the British archaeologist M.E.L. Mallowan (husband of Agatha Christie) conducted his excavations at Tell Brak in Syria and found a deposit of hundreds of small alabaster plaques whose main features were large eyes, the neck, and the shoulders. Their relationship to the human form is undoubted (some figurines are composed as a pair of "mother and child"). They have been considered as abstract symbols of some divinity, a benevolent and protective "eye goddess", and became votive objects dedicated in the "EyeTemple", where they were originally discovered. The "idols" have been found in the vast region including modern day of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran, and are characteristic of the period of ca. 3700-3100 B.C. Many of them are plaques with incised eyes, others received a three-dimensional shape â€“ a bell-like body and a cylindrical neck topped by two perforated circles. These "idols" are also historically related to the important city-state of Ur in Southern Mesopotamia. Ur is mentioned in the Book of Genesis as the birthplace of the patriarch, Abraham. The massive lower structure serves as the base for the "idol" and is entirely covered with incised geometric patterns divided by horizontal lines. These are alternative bands of vertical lines, lozenges, and herring-bone designs. At the lower section there are large squares filled with hatchings, both vertical lines and lozenges. The squares are placed aside the main element appearing on each of the four sides of the base, which consists
of prominent vertical structures with incurved tops. The pattern is known as the "hut design" because of its resemblance to the architectural units, perhaps windows or doors. The motif is mostly found on chlorite vessels from the same geographical areas, including the Gulf. It is also thought that the multiplication of the motif on the vase wall is a projection of the four sides of the building. In general, the rectangular elements with vertical structures are typical for the architecture of Mesopotamia where buildings were constructed of reed mats in combination with bundles of reed, wood (palm trunks), and rope. The varying designs in the squares on the present sculpture reflect the walls in the original constructions made of reed trellises through which air can circulate and light can filter. These traditional materials and methods of building are still preserved today in the houses of farmers inhabiting the marshlands of southern Iraq. The "eye-idol" appears in the upper part of the sculpture and the lower structure could be thought of as the place it protects, or where it's worshipped, with doors and windows among the exterior design. This sophisticated shape is extremely rare and does not constitute a series of objects leaving their exact function unclear. Another, but not completely analogous, piece is known in the collection of the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin, ca. 3200 B.C. The flat bottom and modeling of each side shows that the sculpture was meant to be freestanding and to be perceived in the same way when seen from all four angles. The imposing size and composition in addition to the intricate design place our "eye-idol" among the most attractive works of sculpture of the late 4th millennium Ur period, while the high level of stylization achieves an appearance that is amazingly modern.
CONDITION Intact and in impeccable condition; few small scratches on the surface and a crack along the “eyes”; the bottom is ﬂat and perfectly carved; no restoration or repairs.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Countess P. Maglione collection, collected before 1930.
BIBLIOGRAPHY ARUZ J., ed., Art of the First Cities. The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New Haven, London, 2003, p. 341, 239. CAUBET A., Des yeux et des lunettes, in Syria 83, Hommage à Henri de Contenson, 2006, pp. 177-181. COLLON D., First Impressions: Cylinder Seals in the Ancient Near East, London, 1987, pp. 172-177. DU RY C.J., Art of the Ancient Near and Middle East, New York, 1969, p. 40 ss. HARPER P. O., ARUZ J., TALLON F., The Royal City of Susa: Ancient Near Eastern Treasures from the Louvre, New York, 1992, pp. 169-171, no. 110, and ﬁgs. 44, 47. HEINRICH E., Bauwerke in der altsumerischen Bildkunst, Wiesbaden, 1957. MALLOWAN M. E. L., Excavations in Brak and Chagar Bazar: Their Contribution to Archaeology, in IRAQ 9, 1947, pp. 32-39, 150-159, pls. XXV, nos. 10, 11, XXVI. MIROSCHEDJI P. de, Vases et objets en steatite susiens du Musée du Louvre, in Cahiers de la Délegation Archéologique française en Iran 3, 1973, pp. 15-19. WEISS H., ed., Ebla to Damascus: art and archaeology of ancient Syria, Washington D.C., 1985, pp. 118-119, nos. 41-43.
19 Boat with rowers Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, ca. 21st–17th century B.C. Stuccoed and painted wood L: 63 cm – H: 40 cm
The boat is composed of several elements (crew, keel, oars, tiller, etc.) that were made separately, then painted and assembled: it is currently possible that some elements were not placed back in their original location. The various parts of the structure were painted in ocher, brick red, white and black; the figures have tanned skin and dark hair, and wear a white loincloth. The rounded keel with raised stern was carved from a single block of wood, probably acacia wood like most similar examples. The eight rowers are seated with their backs directed to the bow, their hands on their knees: the oars were fastened to the gunwale (holes) and might have been inserted in the holes that are still visible in the hands of some of the rowers. The other two seated figures would have been co-pilots. The central mast supported the sails, while the other pole arranged vertically to the stern was used to fix the rudder(s). The man standing near the bow, holding an oar, may be the navigation assistant giving the pace to the rowers; the helmsman, who stood at the other end of the boat, next to the tiller, is now lost. This model, which, unlike many surviving examples, shows a good artistic level, represents a travel boat similar to those which sailed on the Nile river: when traveling north, they would be going with the current, gaining even more speed with the rowers; when the ships were traveling south, they had the wind blowing in their direction and would use the sails. The presence of such small-sized boats in Egyptian tombs can be traced back to the Middle Kingdom when the trend to replace the wall paintings in the mastabas (Old Kingdom) with models included in the funeral furniture was established: aside from ships, many three-dimensional wood items linked to contemporary artisanal (weaving, carpentry, gardening) or economic activities (bakery, brewery, butchery) were found. Like the painted scenes of the previous periods, these objects were intended to provide the deceased with the necessities for life in the next world: these models of boats, especially the travel boats, were also related to the biography of the owner and highlighted his important actions, which he continued after his death, such as the inspection of his properties, leisure boating or pilgrimages to various shrines.
CONDITION Excellent condition; slightly faded paint in some areas; minor restorations and breaks (oar, helm, and sail).
PROVENANCE Formerly, G. Willoughby collection (1866-1923); Ex- P. Vérité collection, Paris, 1920s; thence by descent to the C. Vérité collection, France.
BIBLIOGRAPHY BERMAN L. M., BOHAC K. J., Catalogue of Egyptian Art: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Manchester, VA, 1999, pp. 202 ff. Egypte, Moments d’éternité, Mainz am Rhein, 1997, pp. 96-97. Reflets du divin, Antiquités pharaoniques et classiques d’une collection privée, Geneva, 2002, pp. 89-91. REISNER G. A., Models of Ships and Boats, Cairo, 1913.
Selection of objects Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam Project manager Alexander Gherardi, New York Research Phoenix Ancient Art, Geneva Antiquities Research Center, New York Aaron J. Paul, Washington D.C.
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Phoenix Ancient Art is honored to participate in the inaugural showing of TEFAF New York at the historical Park Avenue Armory. Our exhibitio...
Published on Oct 20, 2016
Phoenix Ancient Art is honored to participate in the inaugural showing of TEFAF New York at the historical Park Avenue Armory. Our exhibitio...