Page images
PDF
EPUB

503. Head of Amazon, slightly inclined to the left and looking down, with an expression of pain on the face. The sharp parallel lines in which the hair is worked suggest that the head is copied from a bronze original. It belongs to the type which various archaeologists have assigned to Polyeleitos. The complete figure is

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

that of a wounded Amazon, leaning with the left arm on a pillar, and having the right hand resting on the top of the head.

2729. Head of a Diadumenos, from a statue of a youth binding his hair with a fillet. Compare the statue from Vaison in the First Graeco-Roman Room (p. 108).

1754. Statue of a youth, from the Westmacott collection. It is a graceful and pleasing figure, but weak in the anatomy and execution. It has been suggested that the figure ought to be restored, with the right hand raised, and placing a wreath upon the head, and that it may be a copy of the statue of Kyniskos (a youthful pugilist at Olympia) by Polycleitos. Beside the figure is a fine replica of the head from Apollonia.

501. Statue of an athlete binding a fillet (see above), a slighter and more youthful rendering of the subject than the Diadumenos of Vaison. From the Farnese collection.

1568. Actaeon devoured by his hounds. He had discovered Artemis bathing, and in punishment was to be torn to pieces by his own hounds, who took him for a stag. The transformation is suggested by the stag's horns (which are, however, in this case, a restoration).

1720. Mithras slaying a bull. Mithras was the Persian sungod, whose worship became popular at Rome at the close of the Roman Republic. The bull which Mithras sacrifices in these groups, and the other accessories, are symbolical of animal life and reproductive power.

1710. Nymph of Diana, seated on the ground, as if playing with knucklebones. This figure was found in circumstances which seemed to show that it was part of the decoration of a fountain.

1755. A figure of a young boy, drawing a thorn from his left foot, over which he bends with an expression of pain and close attention. The subject also occurs in a well-known bronze in the Palace of the Conservatori at Rome. (See a cast in the Gallery of Casts.) In the bronze it is executed in a more formal and less realistic style. The relationship of the two figures is uncertain.

1756. Figure from a group of two boys quarrelling over knucklebones. The boy is biting savagely the arm of his adversary,

1583. Finely modelled torso of Aphroditè. The fractured surfaces have been cut smooth, for a restoration, and the torso was much injured in a fire at Richmond House.

1753. Figure of an athlete standing, preparing to throw the disk. Several replicas of this figure are extant, which point to a well-known original, but the sculptor has not been determined. The torso of this figure is ancient, but most of the rest is restored.

1636. Dionysos embracing a personification of the vine-not, however, the youth Ampělos (who was converted into a vine, according to the legend), since the figure is clearly female.

1531. Figure of Jupiter, with the eagle of the Olympian divinity, and the Cerberus of the Infernal God. A mixed type, such as became common in late Roman art.

1560. Life-size statue of Artemis, with a deer in her left hand, from Rome. When first discovered there were traces of blue paint along the edges of the drapery, in imitation of the archaic female statues, but these have now become invisible.

1745. A Satyric figure, playing on the flute. This figure, of

which the lower part is in the form of a square term, has been called Midas, who, according to Pliny, was inventor of the pipe with a side mouthpiece. As, however, the invention of the instrument is also assigned to Pan, the attribution is doubtful.

1599. Hermes (or Mercury), from the Farnese collection. Several replicas of this type exist, which must be derived from some well-known original, nearly akin to the Hermes of Praxiteles. In one instance (the · Hermes of Andros ') the type seems to have been employed to represent a dead person in heroified form.

On the right of the staircase is :

774. Apollo receiving a libation from Victory. Numerous examples are known. It seems probable that they are votive, and that in selecting as their subject the victory of Apollo in a musical contest, the dedicators indirectly commemorated their own triumph in similar exercises of skill.

It is to be observed that a considerable proportion of the sculptures grouped at this end of the room are in the archaistic style --that is to say, they are works of a comparatively late age (third to first century B.C.), deliberately reproducing the characteristics of an archaic period (the sixth and early fifth centuries B.C.).

As a rule they copy and exaggerate the obvious features, such as the conventional treatment of the hair and folds of drapery, but fail to catch the archaic treatment of the eyes, nose, and mouth. In some cases, however, a question can fairly be raised whether a work ought to be assigned to the archaistic or the genuinely archaic group.

[The circular staircase, in the apse at the end of this gallery, descends to the Graeco-Roman Basement and Annex. ]

THE GRAECO-ROMAN BASEMENT

AND ANNEX.

SUBJECT: - GRAECO-ROMAN AND ETRUSCAN

SCULPTURES.

These rooms contain a number of Graeco-Roman sculptures, for the most part of subordinate interest, and examples of Etruscan art.

Visitors who wish to obtain a nearer view of the objects in the Annex should apply to the Keeper of the Department.

GRAECO-ROMAN SCULPTURES. In the Basement, teginning on the left of the staircase, are :..

[ocr errors][merged small]

2205. Relief in black granite from Canopus in Egypt (fig. 44). Hermes with lyre and herald's staff (caduceus). An early example of archaistic work.

2517. A chair for use in the hot bath, shaped externally like a chariot.

1765, 1766. Two realistic statues of fishermen, with fish baskets.

Such representations of rustic life are believed to have been developed in the school of Alexandria.

1768. Ethiopian tumbler, balanced on a small crocodile, with his legs in air.

1557. Marsyas, tied to a pine-tree, awaiting his punishment at the instance of Apollo.

Above is (49*) a mosaic, with a basket of fruit, and an overturned basket of fish, eels, etc.

3rd bay. Architectural fragments.

4th bay. 790. This relief represents the nymph Cyrenè in the act of strangling a lion, while, to commemorate this triumph, a crown is held over her head by Libya. The elegiac quatrain beneath records the dedication of the relief by one Carpos. According to the legend told by Pindar (Pyth. ix., 26), Cyrene was a Thessalian maiden. Apollo saw her slaying a lion in the valleys of Pelion, while guarding her father's flocks. He became enamoured of her and carried her off to the part of Libya which afterwards bore her name. According, however, to another form of the legend, she had

freed a part of Libya from the ravages of a lion, and it is probably in connexion with this later legend that Libya is introduced crowning Cyrenè in the relief. Compare the statue, no. 1384.

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

2215. The small relief in this bay, with two dogs attacking a boar, is one of the very few sculptures which belonged to Sir Hans Sloane, and thus formed the nucleus of the Sculpture collections of the Museum.

2608. Console or keystone of an arch, with a figure of Victory. 52* Mosaic, with eight Mediterranean fish.

53*. At the end of the room is a portion of a large mosaic pavement (fig. 45), found in 1856 in the Roman villa at Halicar

Fig. 46.- No. 2454. Ventilator panel.

« PreviousContinue »