|ROMAN BRONZE CENTAURESS
With equine body and nude human torso, an animal skin tied around her neck and falling over her left shoulder and arm, her left arm outstretched and gripping a fruit laden attribute; on an integral pedestal. An extremely rare type.
Late 2nd-3rd Century AD
H. 5 7/8 in (14.9 cm.)
Ex John Kluge collection, Charlottesville, VA, acquired from Royal-Athena in 1984; J.M.E. collection, acquired at Christie’s New York, June 2004.
Published: J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, 2005, no. 45.
Exhibited: ‘Monsters, Demons, and Winged Beasts: Composite Creatures of the Ancient World’, Carlos Museum of Art, Emory University, Atlanta, February 5-June 19, 2011.
Depictions of female centaurs are extremely rare in antiquity. The 2nd century A.D. writer Lucian of Samosata, in his Zeuxis or Antiochus (3-7), describes a painting by the 5th century B.C. painter Zeuxis of a female centaur, renowned for its novelty and innovative composition. A mosaic, perhaps based on this painting, was found at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli and is now in Berlin (see no. 77 in Ramage and Ramage, Roman Art: Romulus to Constantine).