This incredibly fine Graeco-Roman bronze statuette of a woman possesses a strength of presence and exudes a sense of regal bearing far beyond what would be considered proportionate to her size.   She is fully modeled in the round with great care taken to render the sensuous, softly clinging drapery of her dress, and her beautiful face is modeled after the Classical standards of idealized female beauty.      The figure steps forward with her right foot, showing a bent, well-articulated knee, and supports her weight on her straight back leg.  Her shoulders tilt ever so slightly with the motion, and her head is also turned to the right, her posture completely in harmony with her movements.     The female figure represented, probably an image of a goddess used for private devotions, is dressed in a long, flowing, sleeveless chiton over which is draped a himation fastened at the shoulders by two circular fibulae.  The falling fabric is expertly executed, allowing the soft curves of her body to show.  On the chest especially, the effect of the thin drapery of the cowl neck is wholly convincing, an illusion that reveals the hand of a master sculptor.  The amount of detail devoted to this piece is exceptional: the contrast of the subtler, shallow folds with the dramatic relief of the mass of drapery down her back.  Even the feet, shown wearing delicately strapped thong sandals with oval studs or medallions decorating the instep, are meticulously cast with well-delineated toes and miniscule toenails.      The goddess’s body is also idealized: slender with long legs, a high chest, and slightly rounded, narrow shoulders with a long, straight neck on top of which she carries her head with noble bearing.  Her face is oval shaped with soft, feminine features: high cheekbones, a rounded chin and a small, full-lipped mouth set in the typical “cupid’s bow”.  Her pronounced, arched brows frame wide, heavy-lidded, almond-shaped eyes that stare out with an inscrutable, dignified look.  The pupils are hollowed out, allowing the play of light and shadow on her face to create a truly arresting gaze.      The low forehead is framed by the elegant and meticulously incised coiffure.  The thick, wavy tresses are parted down the middle and held in place by a solid, crescent-shaped crown appliquéd in the front with a central, silvered rosette flanked by two additional rosettes, now lost.  The hair in front of the crown is pulled to the sides in long, thick waves that partially cover the ears, the higher degree of relief creating a more volumetric, heavy look than that of the hair at the crown and back of the head, which is also wavy but modeled closer to the skull for a smoother look.  The ends of the tresses are pulled into a low, thick chignon at the base of the neck.  A small, shallow hole at the crown of the head may have been used to attach a fabric veil, completing this regal portrait of a goddess.     CONDITION  The statuette is in excellent condition, completely intact except for the arms, which are often lost on ancient statuary as they were cast separately. The surface has a rich, hard, smooth patina that fades from dark brown to various shades of light and dark green and gold. The base of the bronze is outfitted with a metal tang for mounting (19th century).     PROVENANCE  Formerly, Jules Charvet collection (1824-1882), Château du Donjon, Le Pecq, France;  Ex- Julien Gréau collection, acquired between 1866 and 1878, Troyes, France;  Hôtel Drouot, Paris,  Collection Julien Gréau. Catalogue des bronzes antiques et des objets d'art du Moyen-âge et de la Renaissance , 1-9 June 1885, no 935     EXHIBITED  Musée rétrospectif, Palais de l'Industrie, Champs-Elysées, Paris, 1865; L’Exposition Universelle Internationale, Palais du Trocadéro, Paris, 1 May - 10 November 1878 ;  Hôtel Drouot,  Collection Julien Gréau. Catalogue des bronzes antiques et des objets d'art du Moyen-âge et de la Renaissance,  Paris, 1-9 June, 1885, no 935.   PUBLISHED  Palais de l'industrie, Musée rétrospectif, Catalogue, Fascicule 2, Paris, 1865, p. 7, no. 66.  LENORMANT F. , Les antiques à l’exposition retrospective des Champs-Élysées , in  Gazette des Beaux Arts  20, February 1866, pp. 167 – 186 (illustrated);  LENORMANT F.,  Books and monuments bearing upon figured representations of Antiquity,  in  The Contemporary Review   XXXIII, London, Sept. 1878, 849.   RAYET O., L'art grec au Trocadéro,  in  L'Art Ancien à l'exposition de 1878 , Paris 1879, pp. 75-76, illus. p. 70.  DE BEAUMONT E. et al.,  Exposition universelle de 1878 , in  Les Beaux-arts et les arts décoratifs  2, Paris, 1879, pp. 70 (illustrated), 75, 77;   Collection Julien Gréau, Catalogue des bronzes antiques et des objets d'art du Moyen-âge et de la Renaissance , Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 1st - 9th, 1885, no 935, pl. XXVII;  WIESLER F.,  Archäologische Excurse zu Pausinias, I,24,3I, et I, 27,8,  in  Nachrichten von der Königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften und der Goerg-August-Universität , 1886, p. 45.  SITTL K.,  Archäologie der Kunst , Munich, 1895, p.237, note 18.  REINACH S.,  Répertoire de la Statuaire Grecque et Romaine  2, Paris, 1898 & 1908, p. 333, no. 1.  Sotheby’s New York, 10 December 2008, Lot 34 (back cover).     BIBLIOGRAPHY   In Pursuit of the Absolute Art of the Ancient World: from   the George Ortiz Collection,  Berne, 1994, no 141.  KOZLOFF A. P. & MITTEN D. G.,  The God’s Delight: The Human Figure in Classical Bronze,  Cleveland Museum of Art, 1988.  REINACH S.,  Répertoire de la Statuaire Grecque et Romaine  2, Paris, 1898 & 1908, p. 333, no. 1.  RIDGWAY B. S.,  Fifth Century Styles in Greek Sculpture,  Princeton, 1981.
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