possibly commissioned by the Colonna

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 534

This bewitching, just-under-lifesize figure of a siren in the guise of a beautiful nude woman wearing a crown-her hair spread over her shoulders and her hands grasping twin fish tails-immediately evokes the image of the emblematic siren of the Colonna family, one of the two most powerful feudal clans in medieval and Renaissance Rome. Given its large size, this bronze example may originally have been made for the Colonna Palace in Rome. In the seventeenth century it was probably inherited by Anna Colonna, wife of Taddeo Barberini. If this is the case, the figure may be the "siren of bronze with a crown on her head" inventoried in 1644 in the Barberini Palace. A poetic, mythical creature inspired by ancient statuary, this siren conveys a striking vitality through the naturalism of her masterful modeling. The harmonious profile of her open forms and the treatment of her abundant, wet, tousled hair recall the rhythmical poses and details of the four bronze youths of Rome's renowned Fontana delle Tartarughe, created in 1585 by the Florentine Taddeo Landini. One of the most gifted sculptors of the day, he may well be the author of this extraordinary figure.

Siren, possibly commissioned by the Colonna family, Rome, Bronze, Italian, Rome

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