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artist of the first half of the fifth century B.C.
A young athlete is represented in the act of hurling the disk. He has swung it back, and is about to throw it to the furthest possible distance before him. We have an interesting opinion upon this statue by the ancient critic, Quintilian. He remarks that the laboured complexity of the statue is extreme, but anyone who should blame it on this ground would do so under a misapprehension of its purpose, inasmuch as the merit of the work lies in its novelty and ditticulty. The position of the head as restored is not correct. It ought to be as in fig. 47, representing a combination of the torso of the present figure with the head of the copy in the Lancelotti Palace at Rome. (Compare the reduced copy in the Gallery of Casts.)
1666, 1667. Two very similar figures of a young Pan. Both are by the same sculptor, Marcus Cossutius Cerdo, freedman of Marcus Cossutius, who has inscribed his name on the tree stumps.
The letters are of the first century A.D., and the style of the sculpture is that of the so-called School of Pasiteles, an artist working at the close of the Roman Republic. The inscription shows that the sculptors of such works as the present might have been of servile condition.
1676. Statuette in green basalt of Cupid riding on a dolphin. The complete group probably contained a figure of Aphroditè, supporting herself by a rudder, of which a part remains. The figure appears to have formed part of a fountain, as a bronze tube passed through the rudder.
1574. The Towneley Venus, a half-draped ideal figure, found at Ostia.
1603. A head of Hermes (?), a youthful ideal male head, somewhat severely treated. From the Chinnery collection.
[We pass by the opposite door to the First Graeco-Roman Room.
FIRST GRAECO-ROMAN ROOM.
SUBJECT:-GRAECO-ROMAN SCULPTURES (continued).
Beside the door is (1569) a colossal bust of Minerva, helmeted. Further to the left are (1606) a statue of Dionysos, draped and bearded, such as he appears on the relief in the Third Graeco-Roman Room (p. 90), representing his visit to Icarios; and (1746) a Canephora,* or basket-bearer. This figure was intended to serve an architectural function, and is a Graeco-Roman imitation of the Caryatids of the Erechtheion. One of the latter is exhibited in the Elgin Room (p. 54), and a comparison of the two figures gives a clear idea of the difference between Greek and Graeco-Roman art. The graceful spontaneity of the Greek maiden is in striking contrast with the formal convention of her Graeco-Roman counterpart.
To the right of the room are the following in order : 1656. A young Satyr playing with the boy Dionysos.
1655. A dancing Satyr with cymbals, from the Rondanini collection. The extremities of the figure are all restored, but the torso is noted for its anatomical skill.
1899. Antinous of Bithynia, favourite slave of Hadrian, drowned in the Nile about 130 A.D. during his master's journey in Egypt. According to some authorities his death was an act of selfsacrificing devotion. He was subsequently represented in many forms of deification-here as Bacchus. The face has always a beauty of its own, but with a sullen and sensual expression.
1578. Venus preparing to enter the bath. Presented by King William IV.
1751. Bust of Athenè, with bronze helmet and drapery. The bronze additions are modern.
1380. Apollo, the lyre-player (Citharoedos), standing in an attitude of repose, as if resting from his music. The figure was found in the temple of Apollo at Cyrenè in North Africa. It has been put together from 123 fragments, but is not otherwise restored.
1831. Bust of an unknown Greek poet, possibly Sophocles.
[The door adjoining leads to the Director's Office.]
1825. Head of Homer. It hardly need be pointed out that the bust is not an authentic portrait of the poet, if indeed he ever existed, but is a comparatively late attempt, perhaps originated at Alexandria, to express the supposed appearance of the blind old man. Pliny, remarking on the habit of placing portraits of authors in libraries, says that fictitious portraits are invented where real ones do not exist, and our • longing begets the faces that have not been handed down, as happens in the case of Homer.'
* Greek, Kavnoópos. Lat., Canephora.
High up on this wall are three reliefs from Sarcophagi, of the second and third centuries A.D., viz. :
2305. A long slab with figures of the nine Muses.
2301. Five of the Labours of Heracles in an architectural setting. The Labours represented are: the Cretan Bull, the Horses of Diomede, the Amazon Andromachè, the cattle of Geryon, and Cerberus.
2306. Slab with Apollo, Minerva, and the Muses, the latter wearing each a feather plucked from the Sirens, when the Muses had overcome them in a contest of music.
500. Statue of an athlete binding a diadem round his head and believed to be a copy of the Diadumenos, by Polyeleitos, of Argos. Polycleitos was probably a younger contemporary of Pheidias, and was famous as the author of a methodical system of human proportion. This figure was found in 1862 at Vaison, in Southern France.
1747. Heroic figure from the Farnese collection.
1648. Young Satyr. He probably held up a jug in his right hand to pour into a drinking horn, or perhaps a bowl held in the left. The original of the type is commonly assigned to Praxiteles.
1545. Statue of Demeter (?) with the attributes of Isis.
[We leave this room by the East door and enter the Gallery of Roman Busts.
GALLERY OF ROMAN BUSTS. *
SUBJECT:ROMAN IMPERIAL PORTRAITS.
The portrait sculptures are arranged along the North side of the gallery, from west to east in chronological order. Upon the pedestal of each statue or bust are inscribed, when known, the name of the person represented, the dates of such person's birth, death, and (if an emperor) of his reign, and the site where the sculpture was discovered.
The long series of imperial portraits from the fall of the Roman Republic to the middle of the third century makes a vivid commentary on the histories of the time. For the most part the identification of the busts is based on the evidence of the coins, either directly, or by comparison with other busts thus identified, and in the case of the more distinctive portraits no uncertainty need arise. There is more difficulty with the portraits of infrequent occurrence, and with the subordinate members of the imperial families. In their case the difficulty is increased by the tendency of the artists to make all members of a family approach to the family type. The successors and kinsmen of Augustus are assimilated to the Augustan type, in the same way that the successors of Alexander are given Alexandrine features and hair. On the wall above the busts are reliefs from Sarcophagi, etc., of the Roman period, approximately corresponding in their dates with the busts below.
* The busts are fully described in the Catalogue of Sculpture, Vol. III. (7s. 6d.), Part VII. (sold separately at 4s.).
The series begins on the left of the door. The following are specially noteworthy:
1870. Caius Julius Cæsar, the consummate soldier, statesman, and man of letters. Assassinated, 44 B.C. A striking bust of • Cæsar with the falcon eyes' (Dante). (Plate XVII., fig. 1.)
The scanty hair is brought to the front. It is mentioned by Suetonius that when his baldness increased, and became the object of the wit of his opponents, he combed the hair from the top of his head in order to conceal it.
The surface of the bust appears to have suffered from a drastic cleaning with chemicals, but several details in the treatment confirm the authenticity of the work.
1876, 1877, 1879. Three heads of Augustus, the founder of the Empire, the gracious patron of Virgil, and the ruling Emperor at the time of the birth of Christ.
He was born 63 B.C., became emperor 29 B.C., and died 14 A.D. In no. 1876 he appears as a youth. (Plate XV1I., fig. 2.) In the others he is in his prime. No. 1877 is a powerful portrait, and was once the property of Edmund Burke.
1881. Tiberius, the ruling emperor at the time of the Crucifixion. The veil indicates that the emperor is represented either as Pontifex Maximus or as an augur. He was an able administrator, but morose and cruel. Born 42 B.C., emperor 14 A.D.
Died 37 A.D. The head was found in the island of Capri, where Tiberius spent his later years in scandalous retirement.
1155. Claudius. He was specially noted for the uncouthness of his deportment and gestures, but we are told that when quiescent he was not wanting in authority and dignity. He was a diligent student, and also a noted glutton. Great engineering works were established during his reign. Born 10 B.C., emperor 41 A.D.
Died (it was supposed by poison) 54 A.D. This head was found in the temple of Athenè at Prienè (see p. 68), and shows marks of the fire by which that temple was destroyed.
2275 (on the wall above). A fine and characteristic pair of Roman medallion portraits of a man and woman, named in the inscription as Lucius Antistius Sarculo, master of the Alban College of the Salian priesthood, and Antistia Plutia. The tablet was dedicated by two of their freedmen, Rufus and Anthus.
1988. (Against the pilaster.) A female portrait statue, finely draped and composed, sometimes taken for the empress Livia, but perhaps representing a priestess.
1887. Nero, the typical example of cruelty and infamy in combination with artistic vanity. He was born 37 A.D., emperor 54 A.D. He was compelled to fly, and committed suicide, 68 A.D. A characteristic bust, brought from Athens.
1890. Vespasian, a soldier, raised to the throne by his troops. A man of rough and shrewd character, a good commander and administrator. Born 9 A.D., emperor 69–79 A.D.
Next is Titus, a good bust from Utica in North Africa. Titus, born 41 A.D., emperor 79–81 A.D., was a beloved prince, but is most familiarly known as the stern captor of Jerusalem. On the wall above, 2299. A graceful frieze of recumbent Amazons, from the cover of a sarcophagus.
1893. Trajan, soldier, statesman, and administrator. Born 53 A.D., emperor 98 A.D. He died in Cilicia, 117 A.D.
* The most interesting characteristic of the figure I have so vividly before me is the look of painful thought, which seems to indicate a constant sense of overwhelming responsibilities, honourably felt and bravely borne, yet . . . ever irritating the nerves and weighing upon the conscience (Merivale).
Against the pilaster are a second head of Titus and two portraits. No. 1961 has been identified as Mark Antony.
1896, 1897, two busts, and 1381, a statue, are portraits of Hadrian, the skilled administrator, indefatigable traveller and scholarly patron of the arts. Born 76 A.D. Emperor 117-138 A.D. In this statue Hadrian is dressed in civil costume. Another statue by the door of the Reading Room shows him in armour. It will be observed that Hadrian is the first bearded figure. His biographer, Spartian, suggests that he allowed his beard to grow to conceal certain natural blemishes, but the explanation seems unnecessary, as the change of fashion became general about this time (120 A.D.).
1463. Antoninus, surnamed Pius on account of his devotion to the memory of Hadrian. Born 86 A.D. Emperor 138–161 A.D. • The consent of antiquity plainly declares that Antoninus was the first and, saving his colleague and successor Aurelius, the only Roman emperor who devoted himself to the task of government with a single view to the happiness of his people’ (Merivale).
Above, 2317. Relief from the sarcophagus of Sallustius Iasius, with figures of winged Cupids playing with armour. The inscription is on the central circular shield, which in such monuments is often employed for a portrait of the deceased.
On each side, 2581, 2582, are ornate Corinthian pilasters.
1907, 1464. Two heads of Marcus Aurelius, emperor and stoic philosopher, author of the Meditations.' Born 121 A.D. Emperor 161-180 A.D. In one of the two heads (1907) he wears a wreath of corn and a veil, as a member of the sacred college of the Arval Brothers.
1925. Bust of a lady named Olympias (not otherwise known),