Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. An exceptional, finely carved marble goddess, standing in contrapposto with her left hip slightly lifted, suggesting forward movement as her weight shifts to her right leg, and draped in an elegant chiton and himation, the fabric folds skillfully delineated and cascading over her body, though her delicate feet are revealed. This idealistic representation displays the sculptor's inheritance of the Classical Greek tradition, demonstrating a continued Greek influence over Roman sculptors. Clearly, the technical skill of this sculptor was paramount. Indeed the artist who created this piece clearly possessed the expertise required to turn stone to fabric and flesh! Size: 19.25" H (48.9 cm); 22.5" H (57.2 cm) on included custom stand.
The sculptor's ability to capture the goddess in contrapposto, implying a rhythmic sense of motion, as her weight is shifted onto her right leg and her left leg advances, conjures a quality of human vitality in this sculpture. Such calculated poses were inspired by the works of Polykleitos and became the model to which sculptors aspired in Graeco-Roman as well as later Western European art. Although no particular attributes of this figure are visible, the fine level of technique and artistry displayed in this piece suggests that it depicted a goddess - perhaps Venus (Aphrodite in the Greek pantheon), the goddess of romantic love, who magically rose from the sea on a giant scallop shell - or Fortuna (Tyche in the Greek pantheon) whose name literally means "fortune" as she is associated with both bona (good) and mala (bad) fortune, chance, and luck - or Diana (Artemis in the Greek pantheon), the goddess of hunting and the moon. Regardless of her identity, any goddess would have been proud to have such a stunning portrayal dedicated to her. A masterfully realized figure presenting a convincing naturalistic pose implying lifelike movement as well as exceptional modeling of her body and garment.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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