Corinthianizing pilaster capital with Eros, representing Winter, holding ducks and a reed

Roman Provincial
Imperial Period
about A.D. 180–215


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 308; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 114 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height x width x depth: 31 x 41.8 x 10 cm (12 3/16 x 16 7/16 x 3 15/16 in.)

Accession Number

66.71

Medium or Technique

Marble, probably from Aphrodisias in modern Turkey

On View

Antioch Mosaic Gallery (Gallery 214A)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Architectural elements

A wingless Eros, or merely a child, faces us, a reed in his left hand, a brace of ducks in the lowered right. Behind are acanthus leaves and volutes. This is a good example of mid-imperial architectural decoration. The capital could have belonged to a series of capitals with figures carrying different seasonal products - perhaps flowers for spring, grain for summer, and fruit for autumn.
There are only very minor damages, and the surfaces have a yellowish-gray color.
Corinthianizing capitals were simpler and more capricious than the larger and more formal Corinthian. This piece seems to belong to the middle of the Antonine period, but, given the alleged provenance from Cremna, it may be as late as the massive Severan building program undertaken in that city.
The capital must owe its freshness of surface to the fact it was sheltered under a porch or indoors in antiquity and was plastered up as building material in the Middle Ages. There are even traces of red under-painting on the figure.

(J. B. Ward Perkins: Aphrodisias marble)

Provenance

By 1966: with Robert E. Hecht, Jr. (said to have been found at Cremna in Pisidia); purchased from Robert E. Hecht, Jr., February 9, 1966

Credit Line

Charles Amos Cummings Bequest Fund