ITALIAN, 19TH CENTURY
AFTER THE ANTIQUE
BUST OF ANTINOUS
Overall the condition of the marble is good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is minor natural veining to the marble consistent with the material. There are some small chips, including to some of the leaves in the hair and to the clasp at the proper left shoulder. There are a few minor abrasions. The marble has been slightly over-cleaned and there is a slight sheen which is probably non-reversible, including to the face. There are some old sticker residues to the socle and splashes of paint to the shoulders. Dirt to the crevices.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
Antinous was the male lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (AD 76-138). Celebrated throughout history for his good looks, Antinous has subsequently become a symbol of same sex love. Relatively little is known about Antinous’ life, aside from the fact that Hadrian toured Asia Minor in AD 123 and may have been introduced to the youth at that time. Antinous was in Hadrian’s retinue by AD 130 and is recorded in a poem by the Alexandrian Greek Pankrates who describes the Emperor vanquishing of the Marousian Lion in the Libyan desert. Shortly after this event, Antinous tragically drowned in the Nile in mysterious circumstances. Many theories have surrounded his death, including forced suicide by jealous courtiers and ritual sacrifice, though Hadrian maintained it was an accident. Whatever the explanation behind his death, at 19 Antinous was becoming a man, and so his relationship with the Emperor was untenable. Same sex relationships in ancient Rome were governed by an unspoken moral code of dominance and subservience; there could be no suggestion that the Emperor was submissive to his lover. The effect of Antinous’ death was profound, Hadrian established a city in Egypt, Antinoopolis, in honour of the youth, and even encouraged his veneration as a god. This beautifully carved marble follows the celebrated Braschi Antinous in the Musei Vaticani, Rome (inv. no. 256) in which the youth is portrayed as Dionysos-Osiris. There is a plaster copy at Castle Howard in Yorkshire.