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Cast of a relief of Endymion and his dog, after a late antique original

Plaster cast

Museum number: M279

Curatorial note

The subject is the ancient myth of Endymion who, to avoid growing old, sleeps forever in a cave, either of his own volition or because ordered to do so by his wife, Selene, the moon goddess.

The original Roman carrara marble relief dates from the second century AD and was found on the Aventine Hill in Rome in the early eighteenth century. Later it was in the collection of Cardinal Albani at the Villa Albani before it was acquired for the Capitoline Museum, Rome (Capitoline Museum, Stanza dei Imperatori 92). Such reliefs were popular in the Hadrianic period in the homes of wealthy Romans. They were originally coloured and would have resembled wall paintings but with the added drama of three-dimensionality.

Provenance help-art-provenance

This cast was formerly in the possession of John Flaxman and was acquired by Soane in c.1834 when he was invited by Flaxman's sister-in-law Maria Denman to select items from those left in the sculptor's studio after his death (he had died some years earlier in 1826).

Literature

Strong, Art in Ancient Rome, II, 101, fig.389
Stuart-Jones, Catalogue of the Capitoline Museum, 1912, 219


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