Classical Antiquities :
Classical Bronzes : Roman period bronze figurine of a bird
Roman period bronze figurine of a bird - FF.092
3" (7.6cm) high
x 5" (12.7cm) wide
Collection: Roman Art
Style: Late Imperial
Location: Great Britain
| Photo Gallery
Cast bronze alloy bird figurine, probably of votive
nature, dating to the late Roman period.
This unidentified bird –presumably an eaglet- is
depicted with short curved beak and a rounded
vivid eye visible on either sides of the head. All
over the body, as well as the head, curved
incisions represent the feathers whereas
particular attention has been given to the wings.
The fledgling is obviously shown, with great
naturalism, in one of its first attempts of trying to
awkwardly spread its wings.
On the lower part two protruding lugs are a
possible indication that the figurine was mounted
on to another object.
Roman Sculpture, with artists from across a huge
empire and changing public tastes over centuries,
is above all else, remarkable for its sheer variety
and eclectic mix. The art form blended the
idealised perfection of earlier Classical Greek
sculpture with a greater aspiration for realism and
absorbed artistic preferences and styles from the
East but also from the local Etruscan art.
As with Greek sculpture, the Romans worked
stone, precious metals, glass and terracotta but
favoured bronze and marble above all else for
their finest work. However, as metal has always
been in high demand for re-use, most of the
surviving examples of Roman sculpture are in
Roman sculpture did, however, begin to search
for new avenues of artistic expression, moving
away from its Etruscan and Greek roots, with
artists seeking to capture and create optical
effects of light and shade for greater realism.