16 June 2006
A ROMAN GILT BRONZE MARS ULTOR
CIRCA LATE 1ST-2ND CENTURY A.D.
The god standing with his weight on his right leg, the left bent at the knee with the heel slightly raised, wearing high sandals, his layered attire including, innermost, a tunic, visible on his thighs, a leather garment with layered straps protecting his groin and shoulders, and a metal cuirass with naturalistically-modelled musculature, the front and back joined by straps at the shoulders, a gorgoneion in relief high on the chest, a paludamentum draped over his right shoulder, diagonally across his back and over his left arm, further armed with a Corinthian helmet worn high on his head, a palmette in low relief on either side, the helmet surmounted by a crouching sphinx with upraised wings, a portion of the crest preserved in back, the god with his head turned to his right and lowered, with thick wavy hair and a full beard and moustache, the eyes recessed beneath modelled brows, his right arm raised, once holding a spear, the left lowered, once resting on the rim of a shield, standing on an integral circular plinth, preserving extensive gilding throughout
7 in. (17.7 cm.) high
with Phoenix Ancient Art, New York, 2000.
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The present bronze is a version of the cult-statue of Mars Ultor, best known from a restored colossal marble statue from the Forum of Nerva now in the Capitoline Museum, Rome, no. 24a in Simon, "Ares/Mars" in LIMC.
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