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Marble statues of Pan, signed by M. Cossutius Cerdo


Height: 113.000 cm

Townley Collection

GR 1805.7-3.28-29 (Sculpture 1666-1667)

    Marble statues of Pan, signed by M. Cossutius Cerdo

    Roman, about 45-25 BC
    From a villa at Monte Cagnolo, near Rome, Italy

    Made by a Roman citizen of Greek origin?

    The two statues, one in Proconnesian marble from the Aegean, the other in Italian Carrara marble, form a matching pair showing a youthful Pan, his horns just beginning to sprout. Pan, a deity associated not only with the countryside, but also with sexuality and fertility, holds a juglet and cup, emphasizing his links with Bacchus, god of wine. On the tree stump of both statues, the name of the artist Marcus Cossutius Cerdo is inscribed in Greek characters. Sir Charles Townley bought the statues in 1774 for £100 each.

    The style of the sculptures suggests they were made by Cerdo in the later first century BC, at a time when large numbers of foreign artisans were coming to Italy to satisfy the enormous demand for all types of works of art. Cerdo's signature suggests he was of Greek origin, yet interestingly he has the three names (tria nomina) which denote a Roman citizen. He was, perhaps, a freedman (libertus), an ex-slave who bought or earned his freedom from his owner.

    B.F. Cook, The Townley Marbles (London, The British Museum Press, 1985)

    S. Walker, Roman art (London, 1991)


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