Statuette of a Draped Female Figure, perhaps Nyx

Object Details

Title:

Statuette of a Draped Female Figure, perhaps Nyx

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Roman

Date:

1st century B.C.

Medium:

Bronze

Dimensions:

25.4 cm (10 in.)

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This Roman bronze statuette depicts a female figure suspended in the air with her toes pointed as if about to land. Her right hand grasps an object that is difficult to identify. It might be an alabastron, a small vessel for precious liquids, or it may be the end of a short, down-turned torch. The windblown mantle and the alighting posture characterize the figure as a personification of nature, especially the celestial forces. Her attribute, either a torch, or perhaps a vessel of dew or dreams, gives her a nocturnal aspect. Therefore, she probably represents Nyx, the goddess of the night, or Selene, the moon goddess. It is not known how this figure was used. Since the figure cannot stand on its own, it must have originally been part of a larger object. Perhaps she decorated a large, ornate lamp or a lamp stand, a fitting use for a goddess of the night.

Provenance
before 1921

Friedrich Ludwig von Gans, German, 1833 - 1920 (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)

1921 - 1940

Kurt Walter Bachstitz Gallery, active 1921 - 1942 (The Hague, Netherlands), sold to Hans Posse for the "Sonderauftrag Linz" of Adolf Hitler, 1940.

1940 - 1945

Hans Posse (Dresden, Germany), moved to the Central Collecting Point, Munich, 1945.

1945 - 1947

Central Collecting Point, Munich (Munich, Germany), restituted to the Netherlands, 1947.

by 1963

Robert Kaeppeli (Basel, Switzerland)

- 1987

NFA Antiquities (Los Angeles, California), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1987.

1987 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman

and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

Exhibitions
A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995) (128)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art, (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995
Bibliography

Zahn, Robert. Sammlungen der Galerie Bachstitz II. Antike, byzantinische, islamische Arbeiten der Kleinkunst und Kunstgewerbes. Antike Sklupturen. Die Sammlung Friedrich L. von Ganz. (Berlin: 1921). pp. 42-42, no. 98, pl. 36.

Balet, Leo. "Die Sammlung Bachstitz II," Cicerone 3 (1922). pp. 99, 100.

Berger, Ernst (ed.). Kunstwerke der Antike. Exh. cat. Lucerne: 1963. no. B25.

Racz, Istvan, and Karl Kerenyi. Antikes Erbe. Meisterwerke aus Schweizer Sammlungen. Zurich: 1965. no. 116; ill.

NFA Antiquities. Art of Antiquity (dealer catalog), Los Angeles, n.d. [1987] p. [11], ills.; with wrong dimensions.

True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman. The J. Paul Getty Museum. Malibu: 1994. pp. 254-56, cat. no. 128.

Mattusch, Carol. The Fire of Hephaistos: Large Classical Bronzes from North American Collections. Exh. cat. Cambridge, Mass: 1996. pp. 112, and 113, fig. 18 (as Fleischman Coll.).

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust, 1997-1998. p. 65.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002) p. 174.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 175.