Nov 12, 2009
Nov 12, 2009

Tritoness Relief Applique

Tritoness Relief Applique

late 2nd Century BC

Bronze with copper inlays

Overall: 22.4 x 24.5 x 7.8 cm (8 13/16 x 9 5/8 x 3 1/16 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1985.184

Location

Did you know?

Mythological sea creatures became popular metal vessel decorations around the 2nd-century BCE.

Description

The seaweed garment, finned gills, and webbed ears give this female bust appliqué all the hallmarks of an ocean dweller. She may be a Tritoness, a minor goddess of the sea and the female counterpart to the more common Triton. However, her intense gaze and raised arm clutching perhaps the hilt of a sword suggest she may be Scylla, a sea monster that first appears in Homer’s Odyssey. Without the Tritoness’s fishtail or Scylla’s lower body made of dogs’ heads, it is difficult to differentiate. Certain features are highlighted with a copper inlay such as the lips, eyes, and gills.

See also
Collection: 
GR - Greek
Department: 
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork

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