19th century Marble Bust of Demosthenes

GBP 5,000.00

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Object Description

Italian, 19th century, After the Antique
Bust of Demosthenes
Marble, the socle plate inscribed in Greek: ΔΗΜΟΣΘΕΝΗΣ
53.5 cm. / 21 ins overall

This attractive marble bust depicts the famous Greek orator Demosthenes (384-322 BC), who led Athens in its uprisings against Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great. During the Renaissance and Enlightenment, Demosthenes’ name was synonymous with eloquence and political freedom.

The orator is shown with a full beard, curling locks of hair thinning at the front and deeply furrowed brows, as though focussed on a thought or speech. Of the extant portraits of Demosthenes, the present bust appears to be based on a Roman herm bust in Munich (Glyptothek, inv. 292), which was discovered in the Circus Maxentius, Rome in 1825. In the Munich head, the specific curls of hair around the forehead and sides of the head in particular seem to match the composition of the present bust, suggesting that it is based on the Munich head. It is likely to have been carved in an Italian workshop in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Object History

PROVENANCE:
Private collection, Scotland

Object Literature

RELATED LITERATURE:
Margarete Bieber, ‘The Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age’. New York, 1981, pp. 66-67. Gisela Richter, ‘The Portraits of the Greeks’, vol. II. London, 1965, pp. 215-223; Paul Zanker, ‘Roman Portraits: Sculptures in Stone and Bronze’. New York, 2016, pp. 36-38

Object Details

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