A Roman marble torso of Meleager

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Lot 56
A Roman marble torso of Meleager

£ 15,000 - 20,000
US$ 19,000 - 25,000

Antiquities

23 Jul 2020, 10:30 BST

London, New Bond Street

A Roman marble torso of Meleager
Circa 1st Century A.D.
The youthful figure depicted nude but for a chlamys pinned at his proper right shoulder, the drapery falling across his upper chest, over his left arm and down onto his back, originally standing with his weight on the proper right leg, the left leg bent and slightly advanced, remains of a strut at his upper right thigh, 26cm high

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    with L'art ancien, Montreal.
    Harry Toulch collection, Montreal, until 2010, acquired from the above in 1982.

    Meleager was a Calydonian prince who led a band of Greek heroes and his beloved Atalanta, herself a formidable huntress, in the hunt for a wild boar which had been terrorising and ravaging the countryside of Calydon. After Atalanta wounded the beast, Meleager succeeded in killing it. He awarded the prized hide to Atalanta in recognition of her prowess, but this sparked a jealous anger among the other heroes, and a brawl ensued in which Meleager slaughtered his uncles who had accompanied him. When his mother learnt of the death of her brothers, she engineered her own son's death by burning a branch which had been the subject of a prediction by the Fates that the hero would live until the branch was burnt in the family hearth.

    The present lot is a Roman work ultimately derived from a Greek original of the 5th Century B.C. by Skopas of Paros. Originally the hero Meleager would have been depicted holding a boar spear in his left hand vertically against the shoulder. The most complete and well-known Roman copy of this type is in the Vatican Museums (acc. no. 490; reproduced in A. Stewart, Greek Sculpture, New Haven, 1990, vol. II, fig. 549).
Contacts
A Roman marble torso of Meleager
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