Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. Finely cast via the cire perdue (lost wax) technique, this bronze bust depicts a proud warrior or perhaps a youthful, clean-shaven Mars (Ares), the god of warfare as well as an agricultural guardian, donning a characteristically plumed neo-Attic helmet upon his clean-shaven handsome face and straps across his chest. His head is slightly angled toward the right, and his finely modeled face peers into the distance. Size: 6.25" H (15.9 cm); 7.5" H (19 cm) on included custom stand.
Mars (Greek Ares) was the god of war - son to Jupiter and Juno (Greek Zeus and Hera) and one of the Twelve Olympians. His sister Minerva (Greek Athena) was the goddess of war. Whereas Mars/Ares traditionally represents the fiery, violent aspects of combat, his sister Minerva/Athena usually represents intellectual military strategy. Second in importance only to Jupiter (Greek Zeus), Mars was highly regarded as the chief military god of the Roman army.
Provenance: private Luxembourg collection, acquired in the 1980s; Auktion 198, Gorny & Mosch, 29 June 2011, no. 5; Fortuna Fine Arts, New York, New York, 2012
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Nicely cast with well-preserved details of facial features, coiffure, helmet, and straps across chest. Minute losses to periphery of chest. Expected areas of encrustion on the surface. Modern hardware affixed behind head presumably for former attachment or display. Bronze has developed a beautiful green patina.