Statuette of Eros and Swan



Statuette group of boy (Eros) and swan restored in the 17th century from an originally single male figure. The restoration may have been inspired from Boethus' Boy Struggling with a Goose, a Hellenistic work mentioned by Pliny. Instead of the goose this group has a swan and the boy is not wrestling with it, although he does have a ribbon around the neck of the swan. If the restorer used the swan to refer to Venus he did not proceed to add wings to the boy so that he is Eros. The head of the boy most probably belonged to the body. The arms are also a restoration but they follow the original posture as it is suggested by the position of the shoulders. The body of the boy has movement and he may be playing with a ball or a hoop. The boy looks like a toddler and has a protruding belly and thick thighs. He has long side ringlets and a centre braid. Children in similar postures were a common theme in Roman villas of the Imperial Age and often used around fountains. The lower part of the group is heavily restored from a single piece of marble. The hair is also different between the left and right side suggesting that there was some reworking.