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Aeschylus o Aeschines
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Aeschylus o Aeschines

XVIII century. White Carrara marble. Not on display

The portrait of Aeschylus (Athens, 525-456 B.C.), author of the Oresteia trilogy, among others, was also created more than a century after his death, during the 110th Olympiad (340-336 B.C.). At that time the Athenian politician Lycurgus decreed that statues of the three great tragic poets, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, should be erected in the Dionysian theater in Athens. Similarities to the “Lateran-type” portrait of Sophocles enable us to date this bust of Aeschylus between 340 and 330 B.C. The splendid portrait in the Farnese Collection (now in the Naples Museum), well-known during the 18th century, is one of the nine ancient copies of the Greek original in existence. It was very probably the model for the Classical-style replica shown here. The head is very well executed with great attention to detail, for instance in the eyebrows. The sculptor went to great lengths to “age” the piece, chipping and scratching the marble and adding patches in a different stone. We know that José Nicolás de Azara, its first owner, was in the habit of buying recently made replicas to fill out his collection of excavated ancient statuary (Text drawn from Schröder, Stephan; The Majesty of Spain, Jackson, Mississippi, 2001, p. 114).

The Majesty of Spain. Royal Collections From the Museo del P, Jackson, Mississipi Commission For Internati, 2001, p.114

Technical data

Inventory number
Aeschylus o Aeschines
XVIII century
White Carrara marble
Height: 56 cm.; Width: 30 cm.; Base/bottom: 30 cm.; Weight: 74 Kg.
Azara Collection. In the Royal Collections since 1801

Bibliography +

Hübner, Emil, Die Antiken Bildwerke in Madrid, Druck Und Verlag Von Georg Reimer, Berlín, 1862, pp. 164.

Barrón, Eduardo, Catálogo de la escultura, Imprenta y fototipia J. Lacoste, Madrid, 1908, pp. 35, n.17.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de la escultura, Madrid, 1957, pp. 139.

Richter, Gisela M.A., The portrait of the Greeks, I, The Phaidon Press, Londres, 1965, pp. 121.

Blanco, Antonio; Lorente, Manuel, Catálogo de la escultura. Museo del Prado, Patronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1981, pp. 137.

Coppel, Rosario, Catálogo de la escultura de época moderna. Museo del Prado: siglos XVI-XVIII, Museo del Prado; Fundación Marcelino Botín, Madrid, 1998, pp. 344-345.

The Majesty of Spain. Royal Collections From the Museo del P, Mississipi Commission For Internati, Jackson, 2001, pp. 114.

Elvira Barba, Miguel Angel, 'Winckelmann, Mengs y las colecciones escultóricas de Azara.' En:, El legado de Johann Joachim Winckelmann en España. Actas congreso internacional 20-21 Oct.2011, 2014, pp. 121-136 [130].

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, Escultura, 1857. Núm. 389.
389. Una cabeza de marmol de Carrara que representa á el filósofo Solón. / Alto 2 pies

Exhibitions +

Tha majesty of spain. Royal collections from the Museo del Prado & patrimonio nacional (La majestad de España)
Jackson MS
01.03.2001 - 03.09.2001

Update date: 14-01-2020 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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