c. 1500

circle of Andrea Riccio

(Italian, c. 1470-1532)


Overall: 15.5 cm (6 1/8 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Severance A. Millikin 1948.486


According to Roman mythology, the nymph Pomona cared for the gardens and forests, rejecting the pursuits of her suitors. The god Vertumnus fell in love with her. He disguised himself as an old woman, complimented her orchard and kissed Pomona passionately. As an old woman, Vertumnus explained that there was one person who loved both Pomona and her garden. Vertumnus then revealed himself to her, and from then on the two cared for Pomona's gardens together. Classicizing in style, Pomona stands nude with her weight on her left leg. She holds a bowl of fruit in her left hand while her right hand is clenched, suggesting it may have once held another object. Pomona wears a diadem, or headband, and hair decorated with a beaded garland falls in two locks over her shoulders. A hole has been drilled at the top of the figure's head for removal of the core and casting pins appear in the back of the right shoulder and on the front of the left leg. Other examples of this statuette exist in Oxford, Paris, Berlin and Washington. Only the Washington and Cleveland versions have been attributed to Riccio because of their superior quality of casting and the rich patinas.

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