8 June 2004
A ROMAN BRONZE MINERVA
CIRCA 2ND CENTURY A.D.
The goddess wearing her aegis and a mantle over her shoulders, a long peplos below, her right hand upraised, perhaps once holding her spear, the left hand projecting forward, perhaps once holding her shield, her Attic helmet surmounted by an owl supporting an elaborate plumed crest, the goddess's eyes recessed for possible inlays, atop a tall square plinth with projecting moldings
10¼ in. (26 cm.) high
with Royal-Athena Galleries, New York, 1985 (Art of the Ancient World, vol. IV, no. 285a).
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C.C. Vermeule and J.M. Eisenberg, Catalogue of the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Bronzes in the Collection of John Kluge, New York and Boston, 1992, no. 88-17.
For a bronze Minerva with an identical Attic helmet with an owl and crest, and similar treatment of the garments, see the example in the Musée romain at Avenches, Switzerland, no. 195 in Canciani, "Athena/Minerva" in LIMC.
Offered to benefit a new scholarship initiative from Bennington College, this work distils the unique form of abstraction for which the artist would become famous
Ahead of the sale of portraits of four different muses, we focus on the women the artist came to depend on so passionately