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Statue of a Centaur with its Base
1700 - 1800
Centaur: rosso antico; base: brecchia
157 x 127 x 63.5 cm (61 13/16 x 50 x 25 in.)
A grinning centaur, a mythological creature that is half-man and half-horse, stands proudly in this sculpture. He carries a set of panpipes and an animal skin is draped over his left arm. Colored marble such as this was quite expensive and a popular symbol of wealth in the Roman world. It was used primarily for architectural decoration and occasionally for sculpture.
This sculpture, acquired by the Getty Museum as a Roman work and believed to have come from the ruins of the palace of the emperor
The Getty Museum centaur is remarkably similar to another centaur carved by the eighteenth-century sculptor Bartolomeo Cavaceppi, who offered copies of Roman
S. Marco, Firenze. Sale cat., Coll. Talleyrand-Perigord Ruspoli, May 31-June 2, 1969. lot 640.
Jentoft-Nilsen, Marit. "A Musical Instrument," The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 11 (1983), pp. 157-158. fig. 1.
The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 37.
Stephens, William H., The New Testament World in Pictures, 1987 p. 260, ill. fig. 521.
Fernandez, I.G. "J. Paul Getty Museum," Revista de Arqueologia 115, Nv (1990), pp. 48-56. ill. p. 54.
The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 25 (as 82.AA.78).
Gregarek, Heike. "Untersuchungen zur kaiserzeitlichen Idealplastik in Buntmarmor," Kolner Jahrbuch 32 (1999) p. 93, 238, no. D 168, fig. 81.
Morawietz, Georg. Der gezähmte Kentaur. Bedeutungsveränderungen der Kentaurenbilder in der Antike. Munich 2000. 110 fig. 53.
Morawietz, Georg. "Die Kentauren des Aristeas und Papias und die Repliken der beiden Statuentypen," Antike Plastik 29 (2005) 54 n. 32.