The J. Paul Getty Museum

Statuette of Minerva

Object Details

Title:

Statuette of Minerva

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Roman

Date:

50 B.C.–A.D. 25

Medium:

Bronze

Object Number:

96.AB.176

Dimensions:

20.6 × 5 × 4.5 cm (8 1/8 × 1 15/16 × 1 3/4 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

See more

See less

Object Description

This statuette of Minerva once brandished a spear and shield, and is identifiable by the goddess’s war-like pose and the protective aegis, bearing the head of the gorgon Medusa, that covers her chest and back. A griffin, a mythological creature known for its vigilance, crouches atop her helmet. The silver that embellishes the goddess’s eyes, the gorgon's head, and the ornament on her helmet is still preserved, but the silver snakes that originally decorated the edge of her aegis are missing.

This image of the goddess was intentionally created in an archaistic or old-fashioned style. It depicts a statue type, the Athena Promachos ("the first in battle") , that is known in many versions, most famously that created by the Greek sculptor Pheidias for the Athenian Acropolis in the fifth-century B.C. The Romans admired Greek sculpture and often created works that resembled the earlier styles of the Greeks. Furthermore, older images of deities, or at least images that looked older, were considered more venerable.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1994 - 1996

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

Exhibitions
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
Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection (March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004
Bibliography
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. 266-67, cat. no. 133.

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

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), p. 175.

Spivey, Nigel and Squire, Michael. Panorama of the Classical World (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2004), p. 78, fig. 119.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 176.

Mattusch, Carol C. Enduring Bronze: Ancient Art, Modern Views (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014), pp. 120-121, fig. 83, frontispiece.

Hallett, Christopher H. "Looking Back: Archaic and Classical Bronzes of the Hellenistic and Roman Periods." In Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World, Jens M. Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin, eds. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), pp. 127-128, fig. 9.1.

Sofroniew, Alexandra. Household Gods: Private Devotion in Ancient Greece and Rome (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), pp. 52-3, fig. 24.