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image M1199

Head of a young satyr, part of the decorative relief on a large Roman vase

Greek marble, probably Pentelic marble

Height: 11cm
Length: 17cm, maximum
Thickness: 10cm

Museum number: M1199

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 275help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

This fragment is in high relief and the head, facing left, is wreathed with vine leaves and grapes. The ears are pointed, the pupils of the eyes expressed and there are touches of circular drillwork among the grapes.

The subject, and the curved joining surface on the reverse, indicate that this head formed part of the relief decoration of the body of a large marble vase, such as that engraved by Piranesi in his Vasi, candelabri, cippii...1. An excellent example of such theatrical and dionysiac masks attached to large marble kraters is that illustrated and discussed by M. Bieber2, a well known item in the Louvre collection3, which is reproduced in several garden examples in the Tuileries.

1 G.B. Piranesi, Vasi, candelabri, cippi, carcofagi, tripodi, lucerne, ed ornamenti antichi, fol, Rome, 1779, pls. 2-4 , and now at Warwick Castle, see above Soane fragment Vermeule no. 272 (DR18); (Wilton-Ely 889, 890, 891)
2 M. Bieber, in Jahrbuch dea Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, XXXII, 1917, pp. 92ff., fig. 63.
3 cited under Soane fragment Vermeule no. 274 (M372); Inv. Nos. 434 - 990.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Rome; collected by Charles Heathcote Tatham for the architect Henry Holland during the 1790s. See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 1, no. 43.


Tatham: Drawings, 6.

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk