• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12256

    Antiquities

    12 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 57

    A ROMAN MARBLE HEAD OF VENUS

    CIRCA 1ST-2ND CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A ROMAN MARBLE HEAD OF VENUS
    CIRCA 1ST-2ND CENTURY A.D.
    The goddess of love depicted under-lifesized, with youthful idealizing features, her oval face gently sloping to her pronounced dimpled chin, her small almond-shaped eyes with drilled inner canthi and thick upper lids, the delicately-modeled brows arching gracefully and merging with the bridge of her nose, the nostrils articulated, with small bow-shaped lips, her forehead peaked at the center, her luscious wavy hair center parted, rolled back over the top of her ears, bound in a fillet and tied in a chignon at the nape of her neck, with thick tresses pulled up over the crown of her head and fastened in a top-knot
    9 in. (22.9 cm.) high


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    The fashion of the hairstyle finds close similarity to the Capitoline Venus, which is based on the 4th century B.C. prototype by Praxiteles. As the goddess of love and sexuality, Aphrodite was always portrayed as the essence of beauty. Her aesthetic perfection is reflected here in the goddess' idealized face and sensuously tactile hair. The present example can be compared to a head of the goddess that was originally set into a draped statue, now in the Glyptothek in Munich, dated to 300-290 B.C. (R. Wünsche, Glyptothek München: Meisterwerke Griechischer und Römischer Skulptur, p. 85).

    Provenance

    with Galerie Altero, Paris.
    Acquired by the current owner from the above, 1986.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the provenance should read:
    with Galerie Altero, Paris.
    Acquired by the current owner from the above, 1986.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION