Inv. n°: MMoCA850

Granite Official

This finely carved torso of a Roman official exemplifies this period of early Roman rule in Egypt, where a unique hybridity of Egyptian and Roman arts began to emerge as cultures amalgamated. Depicted standing with his left leg confidently striding forward and arms defiantly crossed across his abdomen holding the folds of his garment, he cuts a powerful shape and radiates authority. The pleats in his clothes zigzag from the left shoulder across the right hip and fall vertically between the legs, illustrating the adept skill of the artisan at making the fabric hang heavily in thick lines that are clearly delineated, illustrating both the weight of the cloth and the movement of the official as he strides forwards. This illusion of animation breathes life into the statue; as his right knee pulls against the fabric of his outfit, he becomes an anthropomorphic being, enlivened with hubris in an artistic tradition the Romans adopted from Hellenistic Greeks and disseminated throughout Egypt. Running down the length of the back of the figure is a pillar, space for a carved inscription, as was often seen on Ancient Egyptian monumental statuary. This makes it a particularly interesting piece, displaying how craftsman were combining traditionally Egyptian ideas with a new Roman subject matter.

h. 58 cm

Roman, 1st century BC – 1st century A.D, Egypt

Granite

Provenance

  • Collection of Michel Guy (1927-1990), Secretary of State for Culture (1974-1976), France, acquried in Paris in the 1970's
  • SCP Perrin Royère Lajeunesse, Succession de Monsieur Guy, 17th February 1991, lot 52
  • Private Collection, France
  • Christie's, Sale 8776 - Antiquities, London, South Kensington, lot 77
  • Acquired at David Aaron Gallery, London

Publications

  • Christie's, Sale 8776, Antiquities, London, South Kensington, 2013-05-02, lot 77
  • David Aaron, 2009, lot 8, pp. 40-45

Exhibitions

  • Musée d'Art Classique de Mougins (MACM), Mougins, France, from 2020

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