Lot n° 154
40000 - 60000
LE NIL & LE TIBRE
Two hanging river gods, after the Antique. Respectively: the Tiber and the Nile, in the guise of elongated bearded men, leaning against horns of plenty filled with fruit and ears of corn. They are crowned with leafy crowns. The Nile is identified by the emblematic sphinx, while the Tiber holding an oar (no longer present) is accompanied by a she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, symbol of the founding of Rome. Bronze with black patina. Italy, 16th century, circa 1550.
Height : 13 cm - Width : 27,5 cm Depth : 12,5 cm (Worn patina, missing the Tiber oar and a cornucopia seed from the Nile)
On molded oak bases. Labels of Jacques Guerlain collections.
- Jacques Guerlain Collection (1874 - 1963).
- Remained in the descent of the previous one until today.
This pair of bronzes represents the most important rivers of the ancient world, the Tiber and the Nile, in the guise of elongated bearded men, leaning against horns of plenty filled with fruits and ears of corn. They are topped with leafy crowns. The Nile is identified by the emblematic sphinx, while the Tiber holding an oar (no longer present) is accompanied by a she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, symbol of the foundation of Rome.
These bronzes of the River Gods are reductions of the famous ancient monumental marbles excavated in Rome in the early 16th century. Both were found on the site of the sanctuary dedicated to Isis and Serapis, between the churches of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva and Santo Stefano del Cacco in Rome. The Nile group is mentioned for the first time in 1523, it is a Roman copy of the first century after a Hellenic model. The Tiber, discovered in 1512, was sculpted in the time of Hadrian (117-138) as a counterpart of the Nile.
These ancient marbles, much admired, were among the Roman antiquities that were given to Napoleon in 1803, to be exhibited in the Salle des Fleuves of the Musée Central des Arts in Paris. The Nile was returned to Rome and placed in the Vatican Museum (inv. no. 22838) while the Tiber was offered by Pope Pius VII to Louis XVIII and is now in the collections of the Louvre Museum (MA 593).
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