Statuette of Neptune

Object Details

Title:

Statuette of Neptune

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Roman

Place:

Eastern Mediterranean (Place created)

Date:

100–1 B.C.

Medium:

Bronze

Object Number:

96.AB.151

Dimensions:

16.4 cm (6 7/16 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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Neptune (Greek: Poseidon), the god of the sea, stands completely nude with his weight on his right leg. Originally, his raised right hand would have supported a trident, and he may have held a dolphin or ship's ornament in his left. Even with these attributes missing, the figure's unkempt hair, spiky crown of water plants, and mobile, restless-looking pose identify him as the sea god.

The elongated but muscular physique, small head, and majestic stance, as well as the way in which the figure’s arms extend into the space around it, derive from the innovations of the Greek sculptor Lysippos in the late 300s B.C. The mannered and almost playful exaggeration of the traits in this statuette, however, typifies a revival of the style in the late 100s B.C.

Provenance
- 1988

Robin Symes, sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1988.

1988 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman

-

and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997, donated 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)
  • 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
Poseidon and the Sea: Myth, Cult, and Daily Life (February 8, 2014 to March 15, 2015)
  • Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha), February 8 to May 11, 2014
  • Tampa Museum of Art (Tampa), June 14 to November 30, 2014
  • Hood Museum of Art (Hanover), January 17 to March 15, 2015
Bibliography

True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, exh. cat. (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994), pp. 211-13, cat. no. 103.

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust (1997-98), p. 65.

Curtis, Robert I, and Seth D. Pevnick. Poseidon and the Sea: Myth, Cult and Daily Life. Tampa Museum of Art, exh. cat. (London: Giles, 2014), p. 135, cat. 36.

Mattusch, Carol C. Enduring Bronze: Ancient Art, Modern Views (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014), pp. 36, 39, fig. 17.

Sofroniew, Alexandra. Household Gods: Private Devotion in Ancient Greece and Rome (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), pp. 56, 58, fig. 27.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Ancient Greek & Roman Talk Show

Lesson in which students research and study artworks that depict Greek and Roman deities and present a mock TV talk show with the deities.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; History–Social Science

6-8; 9-12

Three/Five-Part Lesson