Marsyas in the garden?

2010-12-02

Front cover of Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome (OpAthRom) 3, Stockholm 2010. ISSN: 2000-0898. ISBN: 978-91-977798-2-1. Softcover, 224 pages.Opuscula 3 (2010) is now available for purchase and free download at Bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com, and Adlibris.com.

Marsyas in the garden? Small-scale sculptures referring to Marsyas in the forum

By Julia Habetzeder

Abstract

While studying a small-scale sculpture in the collections of the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, I noticed that it belongs to a previously unrecognized sculpture type. The type depicts a paunchy, bearded satyr who stands with one arm raised. To my knowledge, four replicas exist. By means of stylistic comparison, they can be dated to the late second to early third centuries AD. Due to their scale and rendering they are likely to have been freestanding decorative elements in Roman villas or gardens. The iconography of the satyrs of the type discussed is closely related to that of a group of fountain figures. These fountain figures are believed to refer to a motif well known in Roman times: the Marsyas in the forum. In this article I argue that the satyrs of the type discussed refer as well to this once famous depiction of Marsyas.

Bibliographical information

Julia Habetzeder, ‘Marsyas in the garden? Small-scale sculptures referring to Marsyas in the forum’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome (OpAthRom) 3, 163–178. Stockholm 2010. ISSN: 2000-0898. ISBN: 978-91-977798-2-1. Softcover, 224 pages. http://doi.org/10.30549/opathrom-03-07

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