RB1501

A Roman Bronze figure of an Eros, ca. Augustan period, BC 31 - AD 14

 With a slightly mischievous expression this nude Eros steps forward with outspread wings. Cast with great artistic skill, this piece demonstrates a precision and remarkable sensitivity in the rendering of the lightly chubby and soft physique that typically depicts one of the most famous and revered images from Classical Antiquity; Eros, god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection.  

The archetypal small boy of Greco-Roman art, Aphrodite’s most faithful companion can be identified with certainty just by the presence of his outspread wings, the incised feathers made by coldworking the bronze with a punch or gravure after casting.  

He stands on his left leg with his right drawn back just a little and the serpentine pose of his body adds a certain liveliness. Beautifully modeled, the contoured face is rounded, with almond-shaped eyes, dimpled cheeks, a broad nose and a small mouth that is half-open, all of which further animate this god of love. His hair, that covers the head and the ears like a helmet, is furrowed with wavy lines indicating locks and ending with large twisted curls. He is represented with both arms raised holding something in his right hand. The gesture is reminiscent of the standing and dancing pose of the lares (Roman guardian spirits), who usually hold a vessel for pouring libations or wine drinking in their upraised hand and a saucer or phiale in their lowered hand.

These small bronze Eros statuettes carrying objects may have functioned as votive offerings to Eros, or, if included as part of a bronze grouping with Aphrodite, may have served as attendants to the goddess.

Condition:  Attractive smooth, deep green/brown patina, with expected minor losses to the tip of nose, the left thumb and front of right foot, otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall.   Mounted on museum quality custom base. A beautiful and finely cast example.

Dimensions: Height:  3-1/2 inches (8.9 cm)

Provenance: Private LA collection, ex. collection of Imre and Nicholas T. Molnar, acquired between 1960-1978 and by descent to the previous owners. Published in Sotheby’s May 4, 1970 Catalogue, Lot No. 94.




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