A MARBLE RELIEF FRAGMENT, 2ND QUARTER OF THE 5TH CENTURY B.C., OR LATER
carved in low relief with a woman moving to left, her right arm raised, her left arm bent at the elbow, and wearing a long chiton with overfold and buttons on the upper arms, her long wavy hair parted in the center, bound in a fillet, and pulled up under the fillet at the back, a string of pearls adorning the head and falling onto the shoulders, the heel and drapery of a second figure on the left, traces of a staff from a third figure on the right; right edge carved flat for attachment of an adjoining panel, anathyrosis on the back.
81 by 43 by 3.5/4.5 cm; preserved height of figure 71 cm; height of head 10.5 cm.
London art market, prior to 1929
Christian Bernard Collection, Paris
French private Collection, by descent
Galerie Sismann, Paris
acquired by the present owner from the above (as 19th/early 20th Century)
Carlo Albizzati, "Nuove e vecchie trovate dei fabbricanti d’antichità," Historia. Studi storici per l’antichità classica, vol. 3, 1929, p. 659f., fig. 5
Georg Lippold, ed., Photographische Einzelaufnahmen antiker Sculpturen, series 17b, Munich, 1947, no. 5084, illus.
The present relief appears to form part of a larger composition comprising at least two panels and depicting at least two more figures, one to the left and the other to the right of the preserved figure. They likely represent the Charites, three divine beings bringing grace, beauty, and joy. For the Charites in classical art see LIMC, vol. 3, pp. 191ff., pls. 151ff. The present relief is stylistically related to the so-called Ludovisi Throne, dated circa 460 B.C. (A. Giuliano, ed., Museo Nazionale Romano. Le sculture, vol. I.1, 1979, pp. 54ff., no. 48); cf. the attendants on the front for the rendering of the chiton and the folds around the legs. For the hairstyle and the headdress cf. Syracusan coins of circa 474 B.C.: P. Franke and M. Hirmer, Die griechische Münze, 1964, pl. 28.
The photographs published by Albizzati and Lippold show the present lot with the left forearm and hand undamaged, and with the left foot and lower ledge preserved.