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Herm of the epic poet Homer
Roman Sculptor
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Roman Sculptor

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Herm of the epic poet Homer

Third quarter of the I century. White marble. Not on display

Portraits of Homer, author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the earliest works of Western literature (8th century B.C.), were made only many years after his death, when any reliable memories of his appearance had long disappeared. As Pliny the Younger (23-79 A.C.) noted, “If no portraits exist they are invented, out of a wish to know the features of someone like Homer, whose appearance has not been transmitted by tradition”. All Homeric portraits can be traced back to four different prototypes, the “Apollonius type” being the least well known. The prototype got its name from its misattribution to Apollonius of Tyana, a Roman seer. In this portrait Homer looks at us with big, open eyes, his head crowned with a hero´s ribbon (the poet was worshiped as a hero in several cities throughout the Greek world). He has a full beard and his hair is worn long, in the style of the noble Greeks of the Archaic period. The Roman replica in the Prado was copied from an original, made in the early 3rd century B.C. which was identified as a likeness of Homer by reference to coins from Amastris, a colony of Smyrna in Asia Minor. Other coins of the Hellenistic period also provide information about the existence of a seated statue of Homer in a shrine dedicated to the poet by the city of Smyrna. The head of the lost statue was perhaps the model for this one. Azara also owned another replica of Homero´s portrait. He had it restored, at which time it was attached to a herm, and a Greek inscription was added that mistakenly identified it as a portrait of Plato (Text drawn from Schröder, Stephan; The Majesty of Spain, Jackson, Mississippi, 2001, pp. 113-114).

The Majesty of Spain. Royal Collections From the Museo del P, Jackson, Mississipi Commission For Internati, 2001, p.113-114

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Technical data

Inventory number
E000094
Author
Roman Sculptor
Title
Herm of the epic poet Homer
Date
Third quarter of the I century
Technique
Sculpted
Medium
White marble
Dimension
Height: 54 cm.; Width: 32 cm.; Base/bottom: 33 cm.; Weight: 78.18 Kg.
Provenance
Azara Collection. In the Royal Collections since 1801.

Bibliography +

Hubner, Emil, Die Antiken Bildwerke in Madrid, Druck Und Verlag Von Georg Reimer, Berlín, 1862, pp. 108.

Barrón, Eduardo, Catálogo de la Escultura, Imprenta y fototipia de J. Lacoste, Madrid, 1908, pp. 84, n.94.

Ricard, Robert, Marbres Antiques du Musee du Prado a Madrid, Feret & Fils, Burdeos, 1923, pp. 81.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de la Escultura, por A. Blanco, Madrid, 1957, pp. 71.

Schröder, Stephan F., Catálogo de la escultura clásica: Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 1993, pp. 84-87.

Bajo el signo de Fortuna: esculturas clásicas del Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 1999, pp. 92.

Las criaturas de Prometeo: esculturas clásicas del Museo del Prado, Fundación Marcelino Botín, Santander, 2000, pp. 66.

The Majesty of Spain. Royal Collections From the Museo del P, Mississipi Commission For Internati, Jackson, 2001, pp. 113-114.

Luxan Rodriguez, Elena, Bibliotheca Alexandrina : Homenaje a la Memoria, Apuesta por..., Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, 2003.

Roma SPQR : Senatus Populus Que Romanus, Aldeasa, Madrid, 2007.

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].

Exhibitions +

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
Cádiz
26.09.2019 - 06.01.2020

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
Zaragoza
26.04.2019 - 18.08.2019

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
Sevilla
29.11.2018 - 24.03.2019

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
San Sebastián
06.07.2018 - 28.10.2018

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
Oviedo
15.03.2018 - 17.06.2018

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
Palma de Mallorca
22.11.2017 - 18.02.2018

Roma SPQR
Madrid
20.11.2007 - 02.03.2008

Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Madrid
09.07.2003 - 21.09.2003

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

Las criaturas de Prometeo. Bajo el signo de la Fortuna. Esculturas antiguas del Museo del Prado
Santander
17.03.2000 - 23.04.2000

Bajo el signo de la fortuna. Esculturas antiguas del Museo del Prado
Salamanca
26.04.1999 - 23.05.1999

Update date: 07-07-2020 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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