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A MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF A GIRL, ROMAN IMPERIAL, AUGUSTAN, 27 B.C.-A.D.
Vendu

À propos de l'objet

The neck carved for insertion into a statue, turned to her left, her face with delicate bow-shaped lips and large wide-set eyes under slightly arched eyebrows, her finely-carved hair parted in the center, bound in an invisible fillet, brushed in wavy locks over the sides, arranged in a nodus with central braid behind, tied in a broad braided chignon in back, and falling in long locks over the sides of the neck, finely engraved curls escaping over the forehead.\nThe present head is a study in contrasts. The upper part of the face, in the classical aloofness of its sharp brows and elongated eyes, belies the naturalistic, almost sensual treatment of the mouth, chin, and neck; together, these stylistically disparate elements create a dynamic countenance permeated by a constant tension between human and divine. Similarly, with regard to the coiffure, Paul Zanker (op. cit.) points out the carefully calculated distinction between the rigidly structured arrangement of the hair in plaits, chignons, waves, and topknot, and the two loose curls falling onto the shoulders. The facial features are reminiscent of those of Livia, the consort of Augustus, in her most youthful portraits (see, for instance, Bardo Museum, Tunis, C934: E. Bartman, Portraits of Livia, Cambridge, 1999, p. 176, cat. no. 68; http://arachne.uni-koeln.de/item/objekt/19213, and Sotheby's, New York, June 6th, 2006, no. 54). Also related to representations of Livia is the elaborate nodus hairstyle with central braid over the crown of the head, the empress's trademark coiffure in her portraits of the Marbury Hall type (e.g. Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano, Museo delle Terme, inv. no. 572; http://arachne.uni-koeln.de/item/objekt/17254; for the typology see Bartman, op. cit., p. 144). The fine wisps of hair escaping over the forehead are typical of Livia's finest portraits as well. Even the long locks of hair falling loosely over the sides of the neck from the chignon in back can be traced to a recently identified portrait type of Livia best represented by a head in Copenhagen, inv. no. 616 (F. Poulsen, Catalogue of Ancient Sculpture in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 1951, p. 428, no. 616; http://arachne.uni-koeln.de/item/objekt/8783).\nWhen the present head was in the collection of D'Arcy Osborne in the late 1940s, it was considered to be a portrait of Octavia. It is now thought to be a private portrait. Paul Zanker (op. cit.) notes that the portrait "shows a quality of workmanship seldom encountered, even in the Augustan period." One has to look to imperial cameos, such as the ones of Livia in Paris and Leiden (E. Bartman, Portraits of Livia, Cambridge, 1999, figs. 17 and 55), to find the equivalent degree of detail and sensitivity.\nD’Arcy Godolphin Osborne was British Minister to the Holy See from 1936 to 1947. His wartime papers were a major source for Owen Chadwich’s Britain and the Vatican during the Second World War (Cambridge, 1986). Osborne played a significant role in clandestine intelligence operations and in assisting escaped prisoners of war. After Italy entered the conflict in 1941 he was essentially trapped inside Vatican City, along with other Allied diplomats, but in 1943 he was permitted under the terms of the 1929 Lateran Treaty to return to England for health reasons. Eager to resume his post, he was able to return  to the Vatican three months later. It was while on this visit home that he was knighted by the King. A year before his death in 1964 he became the 12th and last Duke of Leeds.\nJohannes Schwarzenberg's career in the Austrian diplomatic corps was interrupted in 1938 with the German annexation of Austria. He took residence in Switzerland, where he became a Swiss citizen, and in 1940 was appointed Director and Chairman of the International Committee for the Red Cross. After the war he served as a representative of the Austrian government in Rome from 1947 to 1955, as Ambassador to the Court of St. James from 1955 to 1966, and as Ambassador to the Holy See from 1966 to 1969 (for more biographical information see Johannes E. Schwarzenberg, Erinnerungen und Gedanken eines Diplomaten im Zeitenwandel 1903-1978, C. Meran, M. Miller-Aichholz, and E. Schwarzenberg, eds., Vienna, Cologne, and Weimar, 2013). One of the most important objects in the family collection, a stunning marble portrait head of Alexander the Great, was acquired by the Munich Glyptothek (http://arachne.uni-koeln.de/item/objekt/34989).
US
NY, US
US

condition

As shown, tip of nose missing. Note small chips to proper left brow and upper eyelid. Also note fragmentary nodus and lower part of neck. Losses to bottom of proper left ear lobe, rim of proper right ear lacking, and losses to proper right lobe. Other small chips and abrasions including fresher chips and a scratch at the top of the head. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

dimensions

Height 11 3/4 in. 29.8 cm.

exhibition

Glyptothek, Munich, 1991-2014

literature

Paul Zanker, Porträt eines römischen Mädchens augusteicher Zeit, Glyptothek, Munich, 1991, 10 pp. Dietrich Boschung, Gens Augusta. Untersuchungen zu Aufstellung, Wirkung und Bedeutung der Statuengruppen des julisch-claudischen Kaiserhauses, Mainz am Rhein, 2002, p. 183, note 1305

provenance

Sir D'Arcy Godolphin Osborne (1884-1964), 12th Duke of Leeds in 1963, London and Rome Prince Johannes von Schwarzenberg (1903-1978), Vienna, acquired from the above circa 1950 by descent to the present owner

consignmentDesignation

Property from a European Private Collection


*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.

*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.


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