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A MONUMENTAL ROMAN GREY MARBLE HEAD OF MINERVA
A MONUMENTAL ROMAN GREY MARBLE HEAD OF MINERVA
A MONUMENTAL ROMAN GREY MARBLE HEAD OF MINERVA
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A MONUMENTAL ROMAN GREY MARBLE HEAD OF MINERVA
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This lot has been imported from outside the EU for… Read more
A MONUMENTAL ROMAN GREY MARBLE HEAD OF MINERVA

CIRCA LATE 2ND CENTURY A.D.

Details
A MONUMENTAL ROMAN GREY MARBLE HEAD OF MINERVA
CIRCA LATE 2ND CENTURY A.D.
25 ½ in. (65 cm.) high
Provenance
Nicolas Koutoulakis (1910-1996), Paris and Geneva; thence by descent to the present owner.
Special Notice

This lot has been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer Price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the Buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.
Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Royal (details below) or will be removed from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot has been transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day following the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm

Brought to you by

Claudio Corsi
Claudio Corsi Specialist

Lot Essay


The over life-sized goddess is depicted wearing the Attic helmet, the now-missing crest once set into drilled holes at the top, the head slightly turned to the left and looking down to meet the gaze of the worshippers below. The long wavy hair is parted at the centre and pulled back under the helmet, with long locks falling over the shoulders. The inlays for the eyes now lost.

The attribute of the helmet allows us to identify this head as a representation of Minerva, or Athena in the Greek pantheon, the warrior goddess. Minerva was widely worshipped by the Romans throughout the empire, and was celebrated in the calendar over five days during the Quinquatrus, between 19-23 March. Given her popularity, representations of the goddess were common in antiquity and some colossal examples, possibly placed in temples or in the forum, still survive, such as the monumental head in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Venezia, cf. G. Traversari, Sculture del V.- IV. sec. del Museo Archeologico di Venezia, 1973, p. 36, no. 12.
For another example of Minerva wearing the Attic helmet from Ince Blundell Hall close to the Hope-Farnese type, cf. B. Ashmole, A Catalogue of the Ancient Marbles at Ince Blundell Hall, 1929, p. 77, no. 204, pl. 9.

Another female head of monumental scale wearing the Attic helmet and similar to the present one, was found in Spain during the excavations of the Roman theatre in Osuna. Given the provincial location and its public context, I. Lopez Garcia suggets that the head might represent Dea Roma, a female deity which personified the Roman state and its ideals, cf. Corpus de Esculturas del Imperio Romano, Osuna, vol. I, tome 7, 2017, pp. 77-78, no. 72, pl. XXXI 1-4.


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