STATUE OF FIGHTING SATYR2020-01-10T08:21:01+00:00

Project Description


This over lifesize statue of a satyr is derived from a bronze by a follower of Lysippus. Its resemblance to an llaliot terracotta suggests that the original was at Tarentum where other colossal gods by Lysippus were to be found. Here Cicero records that a statue of a satyr was kept by the surviving Greek community in the temple of Hestia amidst sacred mementoes of their lost independence. It is, therefore, the copy after one of the bronze colossi of fighting gods that, according to Livy, protected Tarentum. This figure of a fighting satyr was drawn at the beginning of the 17th century by Andrea Boscoli, when he made a series of studies of the antique sculptures in Tiberio Ceoli’s palace in Via Giulia, Rome. Documents in the Borghese archives demonstrate that the antique statues of the Ceoli family were sold to . the Borghese in 1607. The documentary evidence is particularly valuable because Boscoli’s drawing, made before the statue was sold, shows that the restored head and right arm were faithful to the prototype.
The relief on the plinth represents a satyr with a slick in his right hand leading a he-goat on which Eros is sitting; on the right Pan is about to throw the head of a ram — the body of which is lying on the ground — into the flames. The two groups have been linked by restoration: the satyr with the goat in the left section belongs to the front of the original monument; Pan to one of the sides. The relief was part of a large plinth measuring about 220 x 80 cm, other surviving fragments of which have been arbitrarily recomposed in this hall. These pieces, which have four different inventory numbers, do not, however, correspond to the four original sides of this plinth. They were certainly known at the end of the 15th century, when they were a source of inspiration for Pinturicchio’s decoration in Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere’s Palazzina, now incorporated in the Palazzo Colonna. The reliefs entered the Borghese Collection in the 17th century.

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