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HOME : Decorative Arts : Sculptures : Marble Roundel of a Nude Woman
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Marble Roundel of a Nude Woman - SP.038
Origin: European
Circa: 18 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD

Collection: Decorative Arts
Medium: Marble

Location: United States
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This Classical Revival piece captures all the sentiment of its period in the attempt to imitate Greco-Roman marble sculpture. When one looks closely at the detail of this portrait, one is met with emotions such as extreme passion and longing, embodied by Roman depictions of Venus, and recaptured in bare marble by European artists of the Neo-Classical period of the 18th and 19th centuries. Carved from a small, almost hemispherical piece of marble, this piece has the charm of ages past.

As if encircled by ocean waves, this siren evokes images of mermaids and lost lovers waiting on far away shores. As if seen through a spyglass, the color of the marble evokes the creamy flesh of the composition’s subject. Her bare left shoulder, coyly shrugged toward an earlobe, sits above an ample breast that rests on the clouds or froth that surrounds her. Her other arm, suggestively raised above and behind her head, as if to frame and present her heavenly beauty, and her other shoulder seemingly draped, add to the overall seductiveness of her pose. Her flowing hair is luxurious and regal as it surrounds her face. Her inviting look toward the viewer conveys to us the longing that the original artist or intended owner must have felt for the woman that inspired this image. We are struck with a sense of desire for one’s beloved that is felt by people of all cultures and eras. The sameness of basic human emotions such as love and loneliness is evident when looking upon such pieces of artwork. She calls to us like a siren, as the memory of this beautiful nymph must have called to the piece’s owner. It stands as a tribute to a love that was felt by its beholder so long before our time – and is yet still unforgotten! - (SP.038)


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