July 27, 2006 5:31 PM   Subscribe

A longshot, but hoping. Can anyone identify this statue?

My wife has been using an outdated edition of her art history textbook for a summer course. Up until now every photo in the homework has been in her book, but on her latest assignment she's been asked to identify a painting that's only in the new edition and compare it to a work by Rodin.

From the question's context she thinks it might be a Michelangelo, but she isn't sure. Does anyone know this one?
posted by BackwardsCity to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wait, compare a painting? What's the Rodin work? Are you asking us to find a painting based on the linked statue?

Telling us what the question is, exactly, might help, too.
posted by interrobang at 5:46 PM on July 27, 2006

At first blush/gut reaction this looks to be a Greek statue (2nd Century B.C.), or a Roman copy (1st Century A.D.).
posted by ericb at 5:55 PM on July 27, 2006

I can't prove it, but I think it's Alexander.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:57 PM on July 27, 2006

I'm wrong. Ignore my previous post.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:59 PM on July 27, 2006

Um, it looks Roman (like, Roman-empire Roman, Hellenistic period) to me, but I can't ID it specifically.

A quick glance made me think it looks like one of the Capitoline museum statues, but searching it without a name is kind of rough.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:01 PM on July 27, 2006

Yeah, that's the problem we've been having. Where's my reverse image search? I want to upload a photo and have the Internet locate it for me.

Some clarifications, because my brain is tired:

* The book for the course is Marilyn Stokstad's Art History: Revised Edition: Volume Two. We have the first edition, it would appear the course is using the second edition.

* The linked image, of a statue, is what we need to identify. I don't know why I said painting.

* It's to be compared to Rodin's Burghers of Calais, if that somehow jogs any memories.

* It looks ancient to us as well, but the course is on work from the Renaissance on, so it's probably a Renaissance sculpture.

Thanks to everyone who's taken a crack at it so far.
posted by BackwardsCity at 6:23 PM on July 27, 2006

Harriet Hosmer, Zenobia in Chains, marble, 1859.
posted by Famous at 6:28 PM on July 27, 2006

Famous has it. Good job!
posted by SPrintF at 6:29 PM on July 27, 2006

Thanks. :) I'm not an art history major or anything; that answer is just a product of googling and a lot of abstract thinking.
posted by Famous at 6:30 PM on July 27, 2006

Famous, you are everyone's hero. Thanks!
posted by BackwardsCity at 6:31 PM on July 27, 2006

It looks more like a caryatid than a statue.

If you Google on caryatid, there are images of lots of them. Famous ones are part of the Elgin Marbles.
posted by ijsbrand at 6:32 PM on July 27, 2006

Did you check the 'companion website' for the book? I'd suggest finding the right chapter and reading the notes to try to come up with plausible names, then googling them.

On preview: I see I'm too late, as she's on chapter 27. You might want to hold onto that website for the future.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:35 PM on July 27, 2006

Famous' has it right. It is indeedHarriet Hosmer's Zenobia in Chains.
"During the spring of 1858, Nathaniel Hawthorne was visiting John Gibson's studio and met Harriet, where they quickly became friends. Hawthorne and his family would return to visit Harriet often. When they met, Harriet was working on a sculpture titled "Zenobia in Chains". Hawthorne mentions this in the preface of 'The Marble Faun'.

Harriet would take her sculpture, 'Zenobia in Chains', to New York in the summer of 1864. While it was on display, it was purchased by Almon Griswold. Harriet would return to Rome in November of that year. Griswold would exhibit 'Zenobia in Chains' at the Jenks Art Gallery in Boston. This exhibition drew a record-breaking crowd.

In the latter part of 1864, Harriet's work came under fire. Many art critics as well as male sculptors claimed that her sculptures were actually created by her male assistants. Harriet responded by filing a libel suit against those who made the claims and in her defense she wrote a step-by-step article for the magazine 'The Atlantic Monthly'. Her article titled 'The Process of Sculpture', gave an in depth and very detailed description of the sculptural process, and was used by many marble sculptors who ran large studios to dispel the claims that Harriet did not do her own work. Coming to her defense, John Gibson told the art world that when Harriet was his student, people often asked if he was doing the sculptures and letting her put her name on them."

posted by ericb at 6:42 PM on July 27, 2006

"An act of justice remains to be performed towards two men of genius with whose productions the author has allowed himself to use a quite unwarrantable freedom. Having imagined a sculptor in this romance, it was necessary to provide him with such works in marble as should be in keeping with the artistic ability which he was supposed to possess. With this view, the author laid felonious hands upon a certain bust of Milton and a statue of a pearl diver, which he found in the studio of Mr. PAUL AKERS, and secretly conveyed them to the premises of his imaginary friend, in the Via Frezza. Not content even with these spoils, he committed a further robbery upon a magnificent statue of Cleopatra, the production of Mr. WILLIAM W. STORY, an artist whom his country and the world will not long fail to appreciate. He had thoughts of appropriating, likewise, a certain door of bronze by Mr. RANDOLPH ROGERS, representing the history of Columbus in a series of admirable bas-reliefs, but was deterred by an unwillingness to meddle with public property. Were he capable of stealing from a lady, he would certainly have made free with Miss HOSMER'S admirable statue of Zenobia."

[The Marble Faun, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Author's Preface, December 15, 1859]
posted by ericb at 7:19 PM on July 27, 2006

it does look greek or roman but it is also apparently in perfect condition, which strongly suggests a much later date.
posted by londongeezer at 3:01 AM on July 29, 2006

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