Statue of Serapis with Cerberus

59.148.39

About this object

Statuette of the god Serapis with Cerberus, his three-headed dog. This also derives from the Roman version of the Bryaxis Serapis as is the 59.148.38 but it also different, indicating the variety of interpretations of the same type. 59.148.39 is much more frontal than 59.148.38, especially in the head, the proportions of the figure are narrower and the carving of the drapery has fewer folds hanging repetitively. The folds are flattened, the volume of the drapery has a deep undercutting. The chiaroscuro affect is stronger than in 59.148.38. The throne has also been cut back to accommodate the narrower body, and a space between the figure and the scepter on the left side and a triangular shadow underneath the right arm. At the forehead the hair is arranged in an anastole ( rather than the corkscrew curls of 59.148.38 ), following the Hellenistic tradtion of the old statue. This hairstyle arrangement was not common in large sculptural examples but the restorer may have inspired by representations of the god in media such as gems. Bartman notes that the deep channels that outline the drapery folds may be possible recuts, aiming to dramatise the sculpture. Bartman does not interpret such recut as Cavaceppi's work and proposes early 3rd century AD as a possible date, especially because of the flattened drapery

Object specifics

  • Type
    Art
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe
  • Date made
    3rd Century AD early
  • Materials
    Marble
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    850 mm x 530 mm x 410 mm x 100.5 kg
  • Note
    Bartman comments: the statuette has a strong three dimensional effect and a sense of depth. The deep channels that outline the drapery folds may be possible recuts, aiming to dramatise the sculpture. Bartman does not view such recut as Cavaceppi's work and proposes early 3rd century AD, especially because of the flattened drapery.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); Bartolomeo Cavaceppi (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:

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

    Bartman, Elizabeth

    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2017
    Description: This book investigates the important antiquities collection formed by Henry Blundell of Ince Blundell Hall, near Liverpool, in the late eighteenth century. Consisting of more than 500 ancient marbles - the UK's largest collection of Roman sculptures after that of the British Museum - the collection was assembled primarily in Italy during Blundell's various 'Grant Tour' visits. As ancient statues were the preeminent souvenir of the Grand Tour, Blundell has strong competition from other collectors, British nobility and European aristocrats, monarchs, and the Pope. His statues represent a typical cross section of sculptures that would have decorated ancient Roman houses, villas, public spaces and even tombs, although their precise origins are largely unknown. Most are likely to have come from Rome and at least one was found at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
  • Bartolomeo Cavaceppi

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