Statuette of a Throned Goddess



Statuette of a youthful woman, seated frontally and on a throne with her left leg extended and the right retracted. Both arms were originally extended in front of her torso and probably held objects. Her head was originally more vertical and probably turned slightly to one side, but now leans forward. The drapery is carefully executed but is rather flat. She wears a sleeved chiton which clings to her body and an himation which runs from the left sleeve across her back and over her lap. The deep carving of the arms and the loop behind the right knee enhance the chiaroscuro effect of the statuette. The throne has a cushion with a fringed fabric. At her feet there are various objects and animals. On her left there is a long eared sow, his snout touches a canister like an object (Elizabeth Bartman identified this as a modius). At her right stands a small sentinel, like a bull, next to a cylindrical object, either an altar or a basket with a ram's head on top. Ashmole identified the woman as Cybele because of the flat round object, the tympanun, resting against the goddess' legs. Bartman proposed Ceres as another alternative to Cybele because Cybelle was normally accompanied by lions rather than domestic animals. Bartman suggested the two cylindrical objects to be grain measures or baskets in the case of the statuette being Ceres but found the flat round object still enigmatic. Bartman described the statue as an ordinarily executed piece, reproducing a cult statue. It was probably used as a votive statue in a sanctuary or was a religious object in a private home or tomb. The statue is made of two ancient fragments from different statues the body and the female head. The nose and chin of the head were restored, the neck as well as the upper part of veil from the shoulders, the left hand, forepart of right hand and of patera. The head of the bull is also a modern restoration. The back of the throne is smooth but is not detailed and the rough chiseling may indicate that the statue was recut from an architectural block and had a moulding that was worked out. The body is in marble from Luna (central Italy). The head, of Parian marble, is antique but from another statue.