Roman Sculptural Relief Fragment

SKU PF.5680
Status

SOLD

Circa

100 AD to 300 AD

Dimensions

21″ (53.3cm) high x 20.5″ (52.1cm) wide

Medium

Marble

Origin

Mediterranean

Gallery Location

UK


 

This is a touching scene. The heroics of war have played out. The victor rises over the fallen. The naked warrior, wearing only a quiver, has been slain. Pierced through his chest by the swordsman, whose sword has broken off, his eyes begin to roll back as he inhales his dying breath. We can see his torso slouch forward as he collapses into himself, the curving musculature of his abdomen can no longer support him. The victorious warrior stands triumphantly over him and literally surrounds him. He left arm is strapped into his shield which arcs over the defeated enemy. Although now shattered, his right arm once held the sword thrust into the enemy’s chest. The tip of the sword can still be seen penetrating the flesh. Another warrior stands to the left. The fish-scale of his armor has been expertly transferred into stone. Perhaps the greatest quality of this masterpiece, aside from the extreme emotional energy, is the incredible variety of textures conveyed out of the same stone. From the fish- scale armor to the folds of flesh and muscle, from the wavy hair and beard of the defeated to the smoothness of the shield, the sculptor has truly turned this stone into a dozen or more unique materials. Human civilization reaches certain peaks artistically that one can never surpass, only aspire to equal. This fragment is such a colossal achievement: when the utter mastery of subject, composition, and an intangible emotion aspect all combine, transferring stone into life.

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