Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 2nd century CE. A finely carved section of marble sarcophagus frieze depicting Apollo, the god of music, playing a lyre or kithara. Wearing scant draped garments that still reveal much of his torso, right arm, and left leg, the deity's pose implies motion and activity. Apollo supports the lyre on his bent left knee, and his right arm, though now missing the forearm and hand, appears to be reaching across his body, as if he once plucked the strings of his instrument. His head is turned toward his right, looking over his left shoulder, and presents a handsome visage with skillfully delineated delicate features crowned by a wavy coiffure with long locks drawn back and secured by a band tied in a bow atop his head, as well as a few curls cascading past his shoulders. Size: 9.5" W x 20.75" H (24.1 cm x 52.7 cm); 23.75" H (60.3 cm) on included custom stand.
This composition presenting Apollo holding a lyre in his right hand and looking back over his left shoulder was featured on several sarcophagi dating from the 2nd to 3rd century CE - see, for example, E. Simon, "Apollon/Apollo," in LIMC, vol. II, nos. 375a, 376, 380, 462a, and 471. As we see in this example, there is a partially preserved section of a wing by Apollo's left foot. This wing most likely belonged to a griffin who is oftentimes accompanying Apollo - pulling the god's sun chariot across the sky.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Christie's, New York Antiquities auction (sale 14356, October 25, 2017, lot 50); ex-private New York, New York, USA collection, acquired in 1995
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.