Statue of Serapis with Cerberus



Statuette of the god Serapis with Cerberus, his three-headed dog. This one 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 noted that the deep channels that outline the drapery folds may be possible recuts, aiming to dramatise the sculpture. Such recut may not be Cavaceppi's work and according to Bartman may indicate an early 3rd century AD as a possible date, especially because of the flattened drapery.