Sculpture of Female with Egyptianizing Headdress

59.148.24

About this object

Statuette of a female wearing an Egyptian-style headdress. The woman body is posed frontally but her head turns dramatically to the left. Both arms are stretched out in the same plane as the torso and both hands probably held attributes, now lost. She wears a sleeveless garment that reaches her calf. From the side the garment appears like a chiton but at the front and back the bodice has textured wavy lines, like ripples of a sheer fabric. The upper torso is drapped with diagonal folds, a vertical swag hangs from the left shoulder in a strong zig zag pattern. The skirt below has vertical folds which project dramatically forward and down. She wears a headress with a peak at the back of the crown and the hair falls in a ponytail onto the back. There are two rows of corkscrew curls at the back and sides.
The statue is of a peculiar iconographical type and there are only a few parallels. It was sold to Blundell as a Bacchante and then it was reinterpreted as Venus Victrix looking at a small Nice in her left hand.
The statue was formerly in the collection displayed at the Villa Mattei in Rome.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Art
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    2nd Century AD
  • Materials
    Marble
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date collected
    1789
  • Measurements
    870 mm x 540 mm
  • Note
    Negative number N71.673
    Furtwangler associated her with Hellenistic Alexandria because of her eastern costume and the Libyan curls, a priestess in the service of Ammon at Egyptian Thebes. Ashmole accepted the figure as of Greco-Egyptian period. Bartman comments that the headdress has other equivalents (kekyphalos ) but the lack of any attributes makes it difficult to identify. Bartman suggests a dancer, if the position of the hands is correct, with Egypto Roman parallels. She also notes that she has a formal manner and therefore the statue may have had a cultic function.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); Ciriaco Mattei (Previous owner); Joseph William Col Sir Weld (Previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • A Catalogue of the Ancient Marbles at Ince Blundell Hall

    Ashmole, Bernard

    Author: Ashmole, Bernard
    Publisher: Clarendon Press
    Date: 1929
    Description: An illustrated catalogue of the ancient sculptures collected by Henry Blundell and formerly at Ince Blundell Hall.

  • An Account of the Statues, Busts, Bass Relieves, Cinerary Urns, and other ancient marbles, and paintings at Ince. Collected by H.B.

    Blundell, Henry

    Author: Blundell, Henry
    Publisher:
    Date: 1803
    Description:

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Michaelis, A

    Author: Michaelis, A
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Date: 1882
    Description:

  • Notes on a New Edition of Michaelis: Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Vermeule, C; von Bothmer, D

    Author: Vermeule, C; von Bothmer, D
    Publisher:
    Date: 1959-04
    Description:

  • The Ince Blundell collection of classical sculpture Volume III-The ideal sculpture

    Bartman, Elizabeth

    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2017
    Description:

  • The Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age

    Bieber, M

    Author: Bieber, M
    Publisher: Columbia University Press
    Date: 1981
    Description:

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Ciriaco Mattei

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1614
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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