A Roman marble herm of Dionysus
Lot 105W
A Roman marble herm of Dionysus
Sold for £55,250 (US$ 92,865) inc. premium
Auction Details
A Roman marble head of Dionysus, Augustan
Lot Details
A Roman marble herm of Dionysus
Augustan, circa 1st Century B.C./A.D.
Shown wearing a fillet falling across the brow, the thick wavy hair dressed with an ivy garland with clusters of berries, with longer tresses falling between the shoulder blades, the youthful head tilted to the left, the idealised features with pronounced lidded eyes gazing downwards and left, the parted full lips with the corners of the mouth slightly drilled, the ends of the fillet falling in folds at the shoulders, 15¾ in (40 cm) high


  • Provenance:
    Property of a Private Trust.
    Acquired in February 1992.

    The influence of Hellenistic sculpture of earlier centuries was strong during the early Roman Imperial period. The survival in Herculaneum of the Villa of the Papyri herm-type portrait busts of Hellenistic kings bear testament to this. Their vibrantly turning heads, large lidded eyes and herm bases are similar in feel to this Dionysus herm. Cf. R.R.R. Smith, Hellenistic Sculpture, London, 1991, figs.10-17.

    For a related example of a youthful and idealistic Dionysus after a Hellenistic original, cf. Basel inv. M 18, R.R.R. Smith, Hellenistic Sculpture, London, 1991, fig 77. Another in Ontario has a similar turn to the head and is a Roman copy after the Lycian Apollo, C. Vermeule, Greek and Roman Sculpture in America, no.37, p.65.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this lot was in a Swiss private collection prior to 1992.
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