FEMALE TORSE OF THE GRANDE ERCOLANESE- II Cent. AD
This figure derives from the Attic model, perhaps by a follower of Praxiteles, and is traditionally known as the Grande Ercolanese, because of one of the most famous copies of this model was found in the theatre of the Hercolaneum. The woman is wearing a chiton, over which is a loose himation falling to the her ankles. Both of her arms were covered with a cloak; the cornsheaf she is holding suggests that the figure was meant to be Persephone. The number of copies attests to the fame of a model that was used for portraits of matrons and young women. The interpretation of the prototypes is still uncertain: perhaps they were Demeter and Kore (Persephone) or a priestess and a poetess, for whom the pensative attitude would be more appropriate. The solid construction of the figure, reminiscent of the school of Sicyon, my be explained by the influence of the Peloponnesian sculpters on Praxitele’s style, observed in his work in various occasions: the sources refer to the statue of Anyte of Tegea by Cephisodotus, Praxitele’s son. The staute is now conserved in the mail hall of the Borghese Gallery.