The J. Paul Getty Museum


Object Details








Roman Empire (Place Created)


100 B.C.–A.D. 100



Object Number:



25.4 × 10 × 8 cm (10 × 3 15/16 × 3 1/8 in.)

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Object Description

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.

before 1921

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

1921 - 1940

Kurt Walter Bachstitz Gallery, founded 1920, dissolved 1951 (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 Käppeli, 1900 - 2000 (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.

Kunstwerke der Antike: Sammlung Robert Käppeli (August 11 to October 27, 1963)
  • Kunstmuseum (Lucerne), August 11 to October 27, 1963
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

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." Der Cicerone : Halbmonatsschrift für die Interessen des Kunstforschers und Sammlers 14 (1922), pp. 99, 100.

"Special Exhibitions." Report on the National Gallery of Art for the Year Ending June 30, 1923. Smithsonian Institution. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1923), p. 56.

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

Racz, Istvan, and Karl Kerenyi. Antikes Erbe: Meisterwerke aus Schweizer Sammlungen. (Zurich: Orell Fussli Verlag, 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, exh. cat. (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994), pp. 254-56, cat. no. 128.

Mattusch, Carol. The Fire of Hephaistos: Large Classical Bronzes from North American Collections, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Art Museums,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 (1997-98), p. 65.

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

Schwarz, Birgit. Hitlers Museum. Die Fotoalben Gemaldegaerie Linz. (Vienna: Bohlau Verlag Wien, 2004), pp. 138, 328, no. XX/6, ill.

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

Sofroniew, Alexandra. Household Gods: Private Devotion in Ancient Greece and Rome (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), pp. 2-3, fig. 2.

Lyons, Claire L. "On Provenance and the Long Lives of Antiquities." International Journal of Cultural Property 23, iss. 3 (2016).