An exquisitely carved museum quality Victorian Grand Tour serpentine group sculpture of the so-called "Pasquino Group" or Ajax Carrying the Body of Achilles, also known as Menelaus Carrying the Body of Patroclus. This sculpture is a reduced copy of the the Roman version from the Medici collection that has sat in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy since 1741. The Roman copy of the Flavian Era is after a Hellenistic bronze original of the 3rd century BC.
This reduced size version was made in Italy in the late 19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria most probably as a Grand Tour memento. The subject of the statue is based upon Homer's epic "The Iliad", about the final year of the Trojan war, a ten-year conflict between the Greeks, or Achaeans, and the Trojans which took place in what is now present day Turkey and the Aegean Sea.
The level of detail on this sculpture is very impressive, faithful to the original, the notable elements are the faces and bodies of both figures and the helmet of Menelaus.
The verde Prato serpentine has been quarried for centuries near to Prato, northwest of Florence in Italy. The Serpentine stone is so named due to the resemblance to the skin of a serpent. This beautiful piece is made in two parts, as the figure group fits onto a separate solid socle, plinth or base.
In very good antique condition, it has some damage, the hanging left arm of Patroclus has been broken and has an old repair, the fingers and thumb are missing and the toes on his right foot are missing. The small toe on the right foot of Menelaus is either missing or miss-formed. The base too has some minor marks and the two back corners have been broken off and are missing. The images show this damage, although it is quite common to find fractures on a piece of this size, age and of this medium. It is relatively unusual for the figure to still to have the base or plinth.
This is a great item for display and is highly decorative, attractive and is a reasonably unusual example of antique decorative sculpture or Victorian Grand Tour statuary.
Overall Height 25 1/2 inches ( 64 cm)
Length 12 inches ( 30.5 cm)
Depth 7 1/2 inches ( 19 cm)
Base Height 6.1 inches ( 15.5 cm)
Base Length 10 5/8 inches ( 27 cm)
Base Depth 6 1/2 inches ( 16.5 cm)
Weight base 11.65 Kg unpacked
Weight figure 12.70 Kg unpacked
Free UK postage, international postage at cost.
Two Menelaus and Patroclus Replicas in Florence and Joshua Reynolds' Contribution by Erna Mandowsky -
The Art Bulletin Vol. 28, No. 2 (Jun., 1946), pp. 115-118
Terracotta reduction by Juan Adán Morlán, as Priam supporting the body of Hector (Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid)
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