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PROPERTY OF THE TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE ACQUISITIONS FUND

A Monumental Marble Figure of a Ram, Roman Imperial, circa Early 1st Century A.D., the restorations probably by Francesco Franzoni
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14

PROPERTY OF THE TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE ACQUISITIONS FUND

A Monumental Marble Figure of a Ram, Roman Imperial, circa Early 1st Century A.D., the restorations probably by Francesco Franzoni
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Details & Cataloguing

Egyptian, Classical, and Western Asiatic Antiquities

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A Monumental Marble Figure of a Ram, Roman Imperial, circa Early 1st Century A.D., the restorations probably by Francesco Franzoni
standing with his right legs slightly advanced, with large ribbed horns spiraling around the long horizontal ears, tail falling down between the hind legs, and thick coat of wool finely carved, the support in the form of the trunk of a palm tree.
Height of figure 41 in. 104 cm.
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Provenance

probably Pasquale Janniello, Naples and Rome
Jandolo & Tavazzi, Catalogo delle pregevoli raccolte di oggetti d'arte antichi e moderni appartenute al defunto Cav. Pasquale Janniello e ad altro distinto collezionista, Rome, April 22nd-May 3rd, 1911, pl. 28
Anderson Galleries, Catalogue of an Unique Collection of Greek and Roman Marbles, Important Gothic Sculptures, Primitive Paintings, Ceramics, Tapestries and Ancient Rugs, including Two Monumental Altars and a Greek Iconostas, Coming from Historical Collections and Gathered in England, France, Austria, Italy and the Levant by a Well-Known European Connoisseur During Many Years of Discriminating Collecting, New York, January 26th-29th, 1921, no. 792, illus.
Hagop Kevorkian, New York
Clement O. Miniger, Toledo, Ohio, acquired from the above in 1926
Toledo Museum of Art, inv. no. 1926.9, received as a gift from the above

Exhibited

Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia, January 1926, for inspection
Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, January 1926-1976
Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, The Unseen Art of TMA: What's in the Vaults and Why?, September 12th, 2004-January 2nd, 2005

Literature

Salomon Reinach, Répertoire de la statuaire grecque et romaine, vol. V, Paris, 1924, p. 447, no. 2
Toledo Museum of Art News, September 1928, p. 658, cover illus.
Margarete Bieber, "The Statue of a Ram in Toledo," American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 47, 1943, pp. 378-382, fig. 1
Photographische Einzelaufnahmen antiken Skulpturen, Georg Lippold, ed., Series XVIIB, Munich, 1947, no. 5100 (entry by Margarete Bieber)
Molly Ohl Godwin, "Capolavori Italiani al 'Toledo Museum of Art'," Le Vie Del Mondo, vol. 14, no. 11, November 1952, p. 1138 and 1141, illus.
Toledo Museum of Art Guide, 1959, p. 7, illus.
Margarete Bieber, Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age, rev. ed., New York, 1961, p. 100, fig. 401
Berthold Fellmann, Die antiken Darstellungen des Polyphemabenteuers, Munich, 1972, p. 98
Cornelius C. Vermeule, Greek Art: Socrates to Sulla, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1980, p. 137, fig. 140
Cornelius C. Vermeule, Greek and Roman Sculpture in America. Masterpieces in Public Collections in the United States and Canada, Malibu, Calif., Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London, 1981, p. 155, no. 122, illus.
Diana Buitron-Oliver, The Odyssey and Ancient Art: An Epic in Word and Image, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., 1992, p. 73 (mentioned)
Maria Mangiafesta, "Fortuna del mito di Polifemo nelle collezioni di antichità tra XV e XVII secolo," Bollettino d'Arte, 99, January-March 1997, p. 30
Sandra E. Knudsen et al., "Analysis of Classical Marble Sculptures in the Toledo Museum of Art," in Interdisciplinary Studies on Ancient Stone, London, 2002, pp. 232-234, no. 1, figs. 2a and b

Catalogue Note

It is possible that this statue is the “bel montone antico di marmo bruno” seen by Ulisse Aldroandi in the home of Curtio Frangipane in Rome circa 1550 (P. Bober, pers. comm. 1964, citing L. Maruo, Le antichità della città di Roma, circa 1556: 262), the description of the colored marble owing to the Greek marble’s natural hue and aged patina.

When the ram was sold in Rome in 1911 at a sale by Jandolo and Tavazzi, it almost certainly came from the collection of Pasquale Janniello whose property made up the majority of the sale. Janniello was a dealer in ancient art from Naples. Ludwig Pollack mentions that he had his shop near the Piazza di Spagna in Rome (L. Pollack, Römische Memoiren: Künstler, Kunstliebhaber und Gelehrte 1893-1943, Rome, 1994, pp. 151-152).

For related ancient Roman marble figures of rams, see a ram carved with a figure of Odysseus below from the Villa Albani, now in the Torlonia Collection (P.E. Visconti, Catalogo del Museo Torlonia di sculture antiche, Rome, 1883, no. 438; http://arachne.uni-koeln.de/item/objekt/26838), an over lifesize figure of a recumbent ram, also from the Villa Albani and now in the Torlonia Collection (Visconti op. cit., no. 445), a ram with drapery gathered on its back in the Torlonia Collection (Visconti op. cit., no. 440), and another over-lifesize example, carved with a figure of Odysseus below, in the collection of the Villa Doria Pamphilj (R. Calza, Antichità di Villa Doria Pamphilj, Rome, 1977, p. 78, no. 83, pl. LV).

Margarete Bieber suggests that the present figure, also over-lifesize, once included a figure of Odysseus suspended beneath the belly of the animal, after the episode from the Odyssey in which Odysseus and his companions escape the cave of the Cyclops Polyphemus by riding underneath sheep from the giant’s flock (op. cit., 1943, pp. 378 and 381). Although the present palm tree support is restored, there is no evidence of restoration on the body of the ram where the figure of Odysseus would have clung to the fleece, and in fact the carving of the belly indicates that it was originally carved with a similar support in antiquity from the same block of marble (Knudsen et al. op. cit., 234). It is conceivable, however, that the present figure was part of a mythological sculptural group depicting the Polyphemus episode.

The fleece of most comparable figures, which is carved in tiered and clustered curls, is much more stylized than this example's. The coat of the Capra Selvatica in the Sala degli Animali (inv. no. 521; A. González-Palacios, Il serraglio di pietra: La sala degli animali in Vaticano, Vatican City, 2013, no. 7) is rendered most similarly, with overlapping wavy curls over the body. This figure was restored with a naturalistically carved white marble base and verde antico socle by the Italian sculptor and restorer Francesco Antonio Franzoni (1734-1818). Franzoni specialized in the restoration of ancient Roman animalia. He worked under Pope Clement XIV, but primarily under Pius VI, who greatly expanded the Vatican’s holdings, including the large group of animal sculptures exhibited in the Sala degli Animali at the Museo Pio-Clementino. The skill demonstrated in the restoration of the present figure is evident in the finely carved details and the marble fragments chosen to closely match the color, grain, and texture of the original figure. This high quality of workmanship and similarity to Franzoni's work on the sculpture in the Vatican collection suggests that his hand may also have been involved in the restoration of the present statue.

Isotopic analysis of the marble used for the ancient core of the ram, which was conducted in 2002 combined with visual inspection and art-historical analysis, ultimately identified the marble from the body of the ram as Parian, particularly Lychnites. Analysis of samples taken from the restored proper left front leg and proper left horn ruled out Italian quarries but were ultimately inconclusive (Knudsen et al. op. cit.); Bieber called the material “coarse island marble” (Bieber, op. cit., 1943, p. 380). Knudsen et al. conclude that the restorations were done by an Italian workshop before 1900, and likely even before 1800, with ancient marble fragments which had been imported from the Greek islands in antiquity.

Egyptian, Classical, and Western Asiatic Antiquities

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