A Roman terracotta fragment from a 'Campana' relief

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Lot 132
A Roman terracotta fragment from a 'Campana' relief

Sold for £ 6,937 (US$ 8,723) inc. premium
A Roman terracotta fragment from a 'Campana' relief
Circa 1st Century A.D.
Carved in high relief, depicting the upper part of a nude male figure from behind, with muscular back, head in profile, with curly hair, straight nose and full, slightly-parted lips, his right arm raised, an animal preserved to the right, 24cm high

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Private collection, England.
    Anonymous sale; Bertolami, London, 24 June 2016, lot 13.

    The relief represents the myth of Heracles and the Cretan bull, the hero carrying the bull over his shoulders, having completed his Seventh Labour.

    A complete example of this type of Campana relief is in the Louvre Museum, Paris, inv. no. CP4170. The full scene, which this fragment was once part of, depicts Heracles accompanied by an allegory of Winter. The scene formed part of a frieze depicting allegorical figures of the remaining seasons and the wedding of Peleus and Thetis.

    The Heracles plaque was a particularly popular motif in 15th and 16th Century art, from which both Renaissance and Baroque painters took inspiration. Il Sodoma owned a terracotta example, as recorded in the inventory drawn up after his death, and a cast of the scene is visible in Michiel Sweerts' A Painter's Studio, c. 1646-1650.
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