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Niobid (fragment)

Date: turn of the 19th and 20th centuries
Medium: hand-modelled, terracotta
Dimensions: height: 67 cm
Classification: sculpture
Inventory Number: 4799
Department: Classical Antiquities

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Niobid (fragment)

Boasting about her seven sons and seven daughters, Niobe insulted the mother of Apollo and Artemis, for which they punished her by killing her children, the Niobids. The Niobid drawing his mantle over his head to protect himself from the deadly arrows of the gods is of a type which is also well-known from Greek representations of the myth. The sculpture was allegedly found, together with another Niobid's head, in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, ancient Capua. However, recent scientific tests seem to prove that the Niobid is in fact a modern forgery; if this is the case, it is a masterful imitation dating to the turn of the nineteenth century, which combines two important ancient works: the torso of an "Apollo" found at Falerii in 1886, and the head of one of the figures of the marble Niobid group discovered in the sixteenth century and now in Florence.

János György Szilágyi