A MARBLE RELIEF FRAGMENT OF ANTINOUS, 19TH CENTURY, OR EARLIER
carved with the profile of Antinous facing right, probably inspired by an ancient relief in the Villa Albani.
28.5 x 28 cm.
American private collection, acquired in the late 1970s/early 1980s
American private collection, by descent from the above (A. N. Abell, Commerce, California, March 10th, 2013, no. 353)
In Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian, the emperor expresses his yearning for Antinous, his one true love, with the timeless words: "I marveled at his gentleness, which had aspects of hardness, too, and the somber devotion to which he gave his whole being [...] I see a head bending under its dark mass of hair, eyes which seemed slanting, so long were the lids, a young face broadly formed, as if for repose."