• Antiquities  auction at Christies

    Sale 12256

    Antiquities

    12 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 54

    A ROMAN MARBLE HEAD OF A GODDESS

    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A ROMAN MARBLE HEAD OF A GODDESS
    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.
    Probably a version of the Athena Lemnia type, her oval face with a smooth forehead peaked at the center, her large almond-shaped eyes with defined lids and drilled inner canthi, her head turned to her left, with wavy center-parted hair bound in a broad fillet, pulled back over the tops of her ears and tied in a flat chignon
    17 in. (43.1 cm.) high


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    Provenance

    Emile Pares, New York.
    with Joseph Brummer, New York.
    with Le Passe, Galeria de Obras Maestras, Buenos Aires, 1968.
    Carlos Luis Blaquier, Buenos Aires.
    Acquired by the current owner, 2000s.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A MIAMI PRIVATE COLLECTOR


    Post Lot Text

    Pheidias' Athena Lemnia was a bronze sculpture dedicated on the Athenian acropolis during the mid 5th century B.C. The original does not survive, but the great scholar Adolph Furtwängler concluded that two headless figures of Athena in Dresden could be restored with the Palagi head in Bologna as the Athena Lemnia, based in part on the composition on a gem impression from the Cades collection. However, recent scholarship has concluded that the Dresden torsos and the Palagi head do not belong together, and that both are Roman classicizing creations rather than copies of a 5th century B.C. Greek original. The Cades gem is now also recognized as a 19th century creation. The head presented here resembles the Palagi head, and at least four others are known: one in the Ashmolean Museum; one in the Royal Ontario Museum; one in the Vatican; and another in the Villa Albani, Rome. See K.J. Hartswick, "The Athena Lemnia Reconsidered," in AJA, vol. 87, no. 3, July 1983, pp. 335-346.