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A ROMAN MARBLE DRAPED FEMALE HERM
Property from the Collection of Max Palevsky
A ROMAN MARBLE DRAPED FEMALE HERM

CIRCA 1ST-2ND CENTURY A.D.

Details
A ROMAN MARBLE DRAPED FEMALE HERM
CIRCA 1ST-2ND CENTURY A.D.
Classicizing in style, finely sculpted in the form of a peplophoros, the tall pillar, rectangular in section, draped with a peplos over a chiton, the peplos pinned at each shoulder, falling in thick U-shaped folds between her breasts and below the protruding rectangular arm shafts, with deep swallow-tail folds falling along her right side, the hem of the overfold arching at her waist, and with deep vertical folds below, the chiton visible underneath in the form of a fringe of finely crinkled pleats clinging to the pillar which emerges below, a recessed area between the shoulders for insertion of a separately-made and now-missing head
57 in. (144.7 cm.) high
Provenance
Sambon Collection, early 20th century.
with Robin Symes, London , 1974.
Literature
"Une exposition de sculpture comparée" in L'illustration, no. 4439, 31 March 1928.

Brought to you by

G. Max Bernheimer
G. Max Bernheimer

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Lot Essay

The herm as a sculpture type made its appearance in Greece at the end of the 6th century B.C. Essentially a rectangular stele topped with the head of the god Hermes, usually with male genitalia in relief on the front of the shaft, herms were erected on streets and crossroads. The Athenian tyrant Hipparchos is known to have erected 150 herms throughout Attica. The form was adapted in the Hellenistic period when the head of the god was replaced by famous individuals, such as philosophers and statesmen. The type continued to be popular with the Romans. Draped herms, especially female, are comparatively rare. Four draped female herms, now in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome, perhaps once served as caryatids (see p. 110, pl. 492-494 in Bieber, Ancient Copies, Contributions to the History of Greek and Roman Art).

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