Statue group of Satyr and Hermaphrodite



Statue group of Satyr and Hermaphrodite, reproducing a popular type, known in more than 30 marble replicas and some bronzes and taking its name from the group in Dresden. The young hermaphrodite wrestles with an old satyr. A cloth underneath them suggests that the scene is taking place outdoors, perhaps just before the hermaphrodite laid down before her nap or her bath. The two figures are similar in size, the hermaphrodite seems to be unbalancing the satyr, pushing him hard on his face and shifting him backwards by lifting his back leg. She has her right ankle wrapped around him and this may hinder her escape. There is no indication of what the final outcome of the battle will be. Different to other examples from the same type, the hermaphrodite of this group does not seem to have her mouth open in terror but seems to smile, mocking the attacker. The base was discovered with the group but does not belong to it. The inscription on the base is modern. The statue was found in the remains of a villa at Prato Bagnato on the Via Prenestina in 1776 by Nicola La Piccola and sold to Blundell in 1786. The statue of Dionysos (59.148.32) was found in the same context as well as the Head of Apollo and the Head of the misidentified Isis which was really Apollo (59.148.108). The base is a restoration and the inscription on the right end is modern. There are several restorations on the left arm and right leg of the hermaphrodite, her left breasts. Restorations to the satyr include the lower right leg from the knee, the lower calf and the foot, right thigh and some damage on the fingers and toes. The group may have been chemically treated and some recutting may have taken place in the hermaphrodite's breast. Statues of this type would have been displayed in Roman villas or theatres, many versions displayed as duos and apart from their erotic undertones may have also served as a point of conversation of the differences between men and women or the dangers of lust for aged men.