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image M92

Fragment of the enriched abacus of a Corinthian or Composite capital

193-235 AD
Severan

Luna marble

Height: 21cm
Width: 46cm

Museum number: M92

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 50help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

Similar in all details to Soane M50 (Vermeule 49). The slight variation in execution of the acanthus leaves would indicate that certainly if not the same capital, this fragment belonged to a pair from the same building.

The anthemion-acanthus carving of these two examples is imitated from the Flavian period but, not well enough cut to be late First Century, must definitely be placed in the period of the Severan period - when the cycle of Domitian's decorative enrichment was revived in Rome on the Palatine, in the Baths of Caracalla, and in the Forum. There are a number of close parallels among the marble fragments in the Basilica Julia (in the Forum Romanum, Rome) which come from a nearby building in the Forum.

The development of decorative enrichment is considered by R. Hauglid1, in a summary of past studies of acanthus enrichment used in Corinthian capitals, palmette and anthemion motives; and a discussion of the Greek application of enrichment to architectural, funerary, and decorative uses.

1 R. Hauglid, 'The Greek Acanthus Problems of Origin', Acta Archaeologica, Copenhagen, pp. 93 ff.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unrecorded.


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