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image X30

Fragment of a Roman relief depicting a dove, foliage and part of a landscape

Grey Greek marble

Height: 20cm
Width: 21cm
Thickness: 7cm

Museum number: X30

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 286help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

A dove standing left on a rocky landscape of a large, gnarled branch, picking at some berries (?); above and behind, remains of moulding (?) of a branch, and leaves.

A fragment from the upper (right hand) section of a large relief panel, one in which a landscape background subordinated to considerably larger main figures is suggested. Several of the so-called Hellenistic-type reliefs of the Roman period have such birds, usually doves treated in a manner similar to this one, set into carved backgrounds1.

This piece cannot be identified in the earliest inventories of the Museum and therefore has an 'X' prefix to its Museum number. However, it was certainly part of Soane's collection.

1 Compare T. Schreiber, Die Hellenistische Relifbilder, plate XIV 'The finding of the Child Asklepios by Autolaos', in the Lateran, Rome; also plate XXI, 'The Feeding of the Infant Pan', also in the Lateran. Both these appear as plate XIV in E. Strong, La Scultura Romana; and the latter appears in two Dal Pozzo-Albani drawings in the Royal Library at Windsor, nos. 8268 and 8400.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Rome; probably collected in Rome 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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished Catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction.


Tatham: Drawings, 2.

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