Bust of Water God



Bust of water god, depicting an older man with long and straggly hair and a long beard, seemingly dripping with water. He represents either the god Neptune or a personification of Oceanus or the Tiber. Neptune is not normally represented with a long beard and it is the trident that distinguishes him. The head also lacks a wreathed grass or seaweed that would have been common for aquatic gods. His eyes are very narrow and his brow determined. He has a weary expression that may be deliberate for conveying a topographical personification. The hair strands on the crown and the beard were rendered with deep drilling. Elizabeth Bartman believed this to be accentuating the chiaroscuro effects and further age the face. The two facing dolphins above the forehead as well as the nose, mouth and upper part of the moustache have restorations. The pocked surface of the lower chest and the lower beard have a sheen that suggests chemical treatment. A hole at the back has a huge amount of plaster and this may suggest that it once held a water pipe. The water would have emerged from the mouth and the flatness of the beard around the mouth suggests that there was corrosion.