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Sculpture; Statuette of Standing Hermaphrodite

, 70 AD - 100 AD

LL 13

About this object

Object specifics

  • Other title(s)
    Art; Sculpture; Statuette of Standing Hermaphrodite
  • Artist(s)
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date
    70 AD - 100 AD
  • Materials
    Marble
  • Measurements
    1085 mm x 205 mm x 220 mm
  • Physical description
    This statuette depicts the mythical figure of Hermaphroditus. The figure has characteristically female facial features and breasts but typically male genitalia. In classical mythology, Hermaphroditus was the child of Hermes and Aphrodite. The nymph Salmacis became infatuated with the handsome youth but Hermaphroditus resisted her advances. When Salmacis forcibly embraced Hermaphroditus she prayed that they never part. The gods granted her wish, and the two became a single being, both male and female. Hermaphroditus thus possessed both male and female sexual characteristics. Hermaphroditus was a common subject in ancient Greek and Roman art. Hermaphrodites are normally depicted either nude, as in this statuette, or lifting garment to expose their male genitals. This statue was made in Rome between 70 and 100 AD. Very little of the original Roman sculpture remains. The head, arms and lower legs were added in the 18th century. The term hermaphrodite was historically used to describe people with ambiguous genitalia or gender. Today the word hermaphrodite is generally considered misleading and problematic when used to describe people. Instead, the term intersex is used to describe someone whose body does not neatly conform to what doctors define as typical male or female bodies, or who possess both male and female sexual organs and/or a combination of male and female sexual characteristics. Some people with intersex conditions and experiences have reclaimed the term 'hermaphrodite' to signal how people with bodies that are not exclusively male or female have always existed and to proclaim their identity as an example of the natural diversity of the human species.
  • Related people
    `Pacetti, Vincenzo (Previous owner); Henry Philip Hope (Previous owner); Thomas Hope (Previous owner); William Hesketh Lever (Previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    Out of Use Inventory Number: X2168
  • Credit line
    Purchased by William Hesketh Lever
  • Location
    Lady Lever Art Gallery, Room 19
  • Collection
    From the Lady Lever Art Gallery collections

Ownership

Previous owners

  • `Pacetti, Vincenzo

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1796
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Henry Philip Hope

    Owned from: 1976
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Thomas Hope

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • William Hesketh Lever

    Owned from: 1917
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Fine Art
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