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Fragment of a sculptured relief from which the background has been cut away, depicting a fleece hanging on a tree. Possibly Roman or work of the 17th/18th century.

Marble

Height: 123cm
Width: 38cm

Museum No.

M1204

Provenance

Unrecorded.

Curatorial note

In this fragment a gnarled tree stump with two cut-off side branches and two filling supports at the back holds up what appear to be two bundles of fleece or one sheep-skin hanging down toward the left, giving an appearance which, if it were not for the peculiarly fleece-like details in the cutting, might suggest the body, right wing and long tail of a bird such as a peacock perched on a tree.

Although the possible antiquity of the fragment and the connection with a scene of Jason and the Golden Fleece cannot be entirely ruled out, the method of representing bark in a series of parallel chisel strokes has a striking parallel in the technique of cutting found in similar details in Bernini's Apollo and Daphne in the Villa Borghese, Rome1. The same craftsmanship appears in Renaissance and later restored supports for classical statuary, as in the copy of the Satyr of Praxiteles also in the Villa Borghese.2

1 No. CV; Paola della Pergola, The Borghese Gallery in Rome, p. 75.
2 No. CCXXXII; Pergola, loc. cit., p. 22; Wilhelm Klein, Praxiteles, Leipzig, 1898, p. 204, no. 26.


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

top left corner
top right corner
bottom left corner
bottom right corner
image M1204