An Early 20thC Italian Carved Marble Herm Satyr Bust

Origin: Italian
Period: Early 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900-20
Depth: 6”
Width: 7”
Height: 11.5”

The well realised and heavy quality white marble bust, representing a male herm satyr figure; probably that of Silenus, with a deep furrowed brow, strong nose, prominent cheeks and chin, with tightly curled hair in waves, the whole carved in the round and apparently unsigned, surviving from early twentieth century Italy.

The bust has some weathering commensurate with age, with the whole being in good structural condition with no cracks or losses, with the usual wear to the nose and other extremities.

This is similar to Roman period janiform heads of second century ad origin, and this example is quite hard to date with precision, and it could well be earlier. If it is of the forementioned, then Silenus was a companion of the god of wine Dionysus in Greek mythology. He was much older than the satyrs, followers of the god, and had the characteristics of a horse rather than a goat.

A salient example of Italian sculpture carved freely with a deft hand.