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SCULPTURE. cc00000000000o ANTIQUE. c00000ccoc. MUSÉE FRANÇAIS.
Les symboles qui pourraient faire regarder cette figure comme étant une statue de Cérès sont l'ouvrage d'un restaurateur moderne, et par conséquent ne prouvent rien autre chose que son ignorance, puisque le caractère de la tête indique visiblement un portrait; on a cru que ce pouvait être celui de Julie Semea, mère d'Héliogabale, mais un examen plus attentif y a fait reconnaître sa seur Julie Mammée, mère d'Alexandre Sévère. Cette princesse fut massacrée à Mayence en 235; elle avait eu plusieurs entretiens avec Origène, pour connaitre les principes de la religion chrétienne.
La tête ayant été séparée, quelques personnes ont pensé que peut-être elle n'appartenait pas à la statue; elles ont cru y voir un travail plus parfait que dans le reste , ce qui pourrait également s'expliquer par le soin qu'aurait mis le statuaire luimême à terminer la tête, tandis qu'il aurait pu ne pas retoucher le reste du travail.
La draperie de cette statue est ce qu'on peut trouver de plus parfait pour la souplesse, la vérité et l'élégance des plis : la per: fection avec laquelle elle est exécutée fait voir qu'elle appartient au siècle d'Adrien; le nez, les deux mains et les deux pieds sont restaurés.
La statue, en marbre de Carrare, vient de la villa Borghèse; elle est maintenant au Musée français.
Haut., 5 pieds.
The emblems, by which this statue might be considered as that of Ceres, are the work of a modern restorer, and consequently are only proofs of his ignorance; since the character of the head indicates decidedly that of a portrait; it has been thought to be that of Julia Semias, the mother of Heliogabalus: but, after a more attentive examination, it appears to be her sister Julia Mammea, the mother of Alexander Severus. This princess was murdered at Mayence in 235: she had many conferences with Origen, for the purpose of learning the principles of the christian religion.
The head having been separated, some persons have believed that it did not belong to the statue; they have considered it of a superior workmanship to the rest, which may easily be explained from the sculptor having given a greater finish to the head, while he might not have gone over the remainder of the work.
The drapery of this statue is perhaps the finest that can be found, for its flowing case, and for the truth and elegance of its folds : the perfection with which it has been executed shows that it belongs to the age of Adrian; the nose, the hands, and the feet have been restored.
This statue, in marble of Carrara, came from the villa Bore ghese; and is now in the french Museum.
Height, 5 feet 4 inches.
NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. 00.00. J. RIBERA. Coocoo PRIVATE COLLECTION.
This saint was born at Narbonne of parents originally from Milan; he was a captain in one of the companies of the pretorian guard; which did not prevent his following the catholic religion. The society of the faithful, which had formed itself even in the palace of Diocletian and without his knowledge, was however soon betrayed : several of them suffered martyrdom. When, denounced by Torquatus, a faithless companion, Sebastian was recognised as the chief : the emperor ordered him to be immediately taken to a field near the city, by a band of archers, who bound him to a tree, and pierced his body with their arrows. The following night, Irene having gonethither to bury the martyr, was much surprised to find him still alive; she carried him off; and none of his wounds being mortal, Sebastian was soon cured. But, a few days afterwards ihe holy martyr presenting himself before Diocletian, in the hope to convert him, the emperor again ordered him to be put to death, and his body to be cast into the common sewer.
Joseph Ribera, called Spagnoletto, has represented this scene in the most pathetic manner. The saint, in despite of his bodily sufferings, is upheld by his confidence in God; the females assisting him are depicted full of compassion. This most finely coloured picture, the chiar-oscuro of which is wonderfully effective, is, moreover, remarkable by a sublime expression in the head of St Sebastian. On the stone to the right, upon which the martyr's arm is leaning, is written: Joseph Ribera de Spagnolel F.
This picture belongs to marshal Soult, and has not yet been engraved. Width, 7 feet 7 inches; height, 5 feet 6 inches.