Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Bronze grotesque

Period:
Hellenistic
Date:
2nd century B.C.–1st century A.D.
Culture:
Greek
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
Overall: 4 x 1 1/4 x 7/8 in. (10.2 x 3.2 x 2.2 cm)
Classification:
Bronzes
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
12.229.6
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 161
Since its discovery in 1727, this figure's identity has been debated. His disproportionately large head has a prominent nose, canines and whites of the eyes originally inlaid in silver, and hair and a beard once rendered in a matte black metal inlay. The circular area on the back of his head may have been for an attached curl of hair. The close-fitting garment reveals his misshapen body, and he wears sandals. Prevailing scholarly opinion has called the figure a mime and dated it to the first century B.C./A.D. A recent suggestion is that he is a caricature of an Alexandrian pedant, datable in the early second century B.C.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1913. "Department of Classical Art: The Accessions of 1912, Bronzes." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 8 (12): p. 266, fig. 1.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1915. Greek, Etruscan and Roman Bronzes. no. 127, pp. 81-84, New York: Gilliss Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 159, fig. 101, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 196-97, fig. 135, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 196-97, fig. 135, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936[1934]. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Bieber, Margarete. 1939. The History of the Greek and Roman Theater. p. 419, fig. 554, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1950. The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, 3rd edn. pp. 82, 421, fig. 223, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 126, 265, pl. 105a, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Reuterswärd, Patrik. 1980. Studien zur Polychromie der Plastik. p. 128, n. 313, Stockholm: Bokförlaget Svenska.

Moeves, Maria T.M. 2000. "On the Capponi grotesque in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." From the Parts to the Whole: Acta of the 13th International Bronze Congress held at Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 28 - June 1, 1996, Prof. Carol Mattusch, ed. pp. 254-60, figs. 1-3, Portsmith, R.I.: Journal of Roman Archaeology.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 183, pp. 161, 439, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Trentin, Lisa. 2015. The Hunchback in Hellenistic and Roman Art. cat. 8, pp. 78-9, 97, 111, pl. 8(1)-(2), London: Bloomsbury Academic.

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