BRONZE MASK OF ANTINOUS

Antinous was a Bithynian Greek youth and a favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian. He was deified after his death, although his exact status in the Roman pantheon was uncertain. He is frequently described and depicted as a beautiful boy and youth. The relationship is believed to have been sexual. Antinous drowned in the Nile in October 130. The death was presented as an accident, "but it was believed at the time that Antinous had been sacrificed or had sacrificed himself," and Hadrian "wept for him like a woman."Hadrian went through the process of deifying him soon afterwards, a process previously exclusively reserved for imperial family members rather than friends or lovers of non-Roman origin. The grief of the emperor knew no bounds, causing the most extravagant veneration to be paid to Antinous' memory. Cities were founded in his name, medals struck with his likeness, and cities throughout the east commissioned godlike images of the dead youth for their shrines and sanctuaries.Following the example of Alexander (who sought divine honours for his beloved general, Hephaestion, when he died) Hadrian had Antinous proclaimed a god. Temples were built for his worship in Bithynia, Mantineia in Arcadia, and Athens, festivals celebrated in his honour and oracles delivered in his name. The city of Antinopolis or Antinoe was founded on the site of Hir-wer where he died (Dio Cassius lix.11; Spartianus, "Hadrian"). One of Hadrian's attempts at extravagant remembrance failed, when the proposal to create a constellation of Antinous being lifted to heaven by an eagle (the constellation Aquila) failed of adoption. After deification, Antinous was associated with and depicted as the Ancient Egyptian god Osiris, associated with the rebirth of the Nile. Antinous was also depicted as the Roman Bacchus, a god related to fertility, cutting vine leaves. Antinous's was the only non-imperial head ever to appear on the coinage. Worship, or at least acknowledgment, of the idealized Antinous was widespread, although mainly outside the city of Rome. As a result, Antinous is one of the best-preserved faces from the ancient world. Many busts, gems and coins represent Antinous as the ideal type of youthful beauty, often with the attributes of some special god. They include a colossal bust in the Vatican, a bust in the Louvre (the Antinous Mondragone), a bas-relief from the Villa Albani, a statue in the Capitoline museum (the so-called Capitoline Antinous, now accepted to be a portrayal of Hermes), another in Berlin, another in the Lateran and one in the Fitzwilliam Museum; and many more may be seen in museums across Europe. There are also statues in many archaeological museums in Greece including the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, the archaeological museums of Patras, Chalkis and Delphi. Although these may well be idealised images, they demonstrate what all contemporary writers described as Antinous's extraordinary beauty. Although many of the sculptures are instantly recognizable, some offer significant variation in terms of the suppleness and sensuality of the pose and features versus the rigidity and typical masculinity. In 1998 the remains of the monumental tomb of Antinous, or a temple to him, were discovered at Hadrian's Villa. This mask, as with all our other bronze items, are cast in Greece, using the traditional 'lost wax' method, therefore each piece is unique. It was made in Greece, stands 29 centimeters high, 27 centimeters width, and weighs approximately 5 kg.

 

Details:

Condition: New, Handmade in Greece.

Material: Bronze

Height: 29cm (11.4")

Width: 27cm (10.6")

Weight: 5 kg

Please be aware that, due to the fact that our products are either individually cast, carved, painted and hand finished, there will inevitably be minor variations in size, colour and texture.(1169)