Hermaphrodite. Hermaphroditos, son of Hermes.

Hermaphrodite. Ancient Greek sculpture.

Hermaphrodite with bird

Hermaphrodite with bird

Greek sculpture

Hermaphroditos, the son of the Greek god Hermes and the goddess Aphrodite

A terminal statue of an Hermaphrodite. The human body extends downwards as low as the hips, whence it gradually assumes the form of a square pilaster diminishing in size towards the base. The hair is divided along the top of the head, the front and side locks are drawn together and turned up towards the back of the head, where they are tied into a knot; behind, the hair is combed straight down towards the neck, where it is collected into a thick bunch of curls almost resembling flowers. The body is entirely unclothed. The right hand holds a large bunch of grapes to feed a bird which is held in the left hand. Of this bird, the head, neck and leg are restored, and to them the modern artist has given the form of those parts of an Ibis. It is not very easy to ascertain what description of bird was originally intended, but it resembles a goose, at least as much as any other fowl, and though such a bird does not appear to be peculiarly entitled to caresses, yet it is sometimes so honoured by Cupid.

In the British Museum is a small bronze statue of Cupid caressing a goose, among the bronzes found at Pompeii a small figure of this god holding a goose in his arms; he is so represented on a bronze lamp in the Museum at Naples, and in the British Museum is a small silver figure of a naked boy similarly engaged. Pliny speaks of a group of a boy strangling a goose, the work of Boethus, and this is the subject of a little bronze figure in the Museum, and of another of a youth in marble in the Museum at Naples. Whether these groups had any symbolical meaning it is not safe to assert, as various authors who have thought the subject worthy of their attention have differed in their interpretations, and have suggested explanations which do not convey conviction to the readers. It only remains then to describe these subjects as they appear before us, leaving to each person the privilege of indulging his ingenuity in discovering the artist’s latent intentions.

This figure, the upper part of which takes the form of a young girl, is well but not finely executed; and its general appearance is damaged from the discoloration it has suffered from having long lain amongst a quantity of decayed wood in a swamp near the lake of Nemi in the neighbourhood of Rome, where it was discovered in the year 1774.
Height of antique portion 3 ft. 4 1/2 inch.

Related:

(Ancient Egypt, Greek, Minoan, Assyria, Roman, Levante)




Pharaoh Merenptah, Mienptah-Hotéphima.
Ancient Egypt costume of Pharaoh Merenptah, Mienptah-Hotéphima. Painting: Portrait of Pharaoh... Read more
Ancient • Egypt • Headdresses • Middle East • Nobility
Ancient Egypt clothing • Crown
Ancient Egypt headdresses of ladies of various epochs.
Ancient Egypt headdresses of ladies of different epochs. Sculpture: Types & portraits (ladies... Read more
Ancient • Egypt • Middle East
Ancient Egypt clothing
Bushman paintings from South Africa
Bushman paintings from South Africa Picture above: Fig. 1. Schooma, Xalanga. Fig. 2. Ettrik,... Read more
19th Century • Africa • Ancient • South Africa
Alethe, Priestess of Isis. The Epicurean, by Thomas Moore.
Alethe, Priestess of Isis. The Epicurean, a Tale by Thomas Moore. When Alethe arrived at a sui... Read more
1827 • 19th Century • Ancient • Egypt • Fantasy costumes • Genre • Middle East • Romantic Era
Ancient Egypt clothing • Artist • Character sketches
Ancient Greek Helmets. Grecian and Syrian helmets.
Ancient Greek Helmets. Grecian and Syrian helmets. COSTUME OF THE ANCIENTS BY THOMAS HOPE. PRI... Read more
Ancient • Ancient Greece • Headdresses • Military
Ancient Greek Costumes • Ancient Greek helmets • Ancient Military • Thomas Hobe
Roman Bride dressing up.
Roman Bride dressing up. Toilet of the Bride in ancient Rome. A Roman Bride rightly made for h... Read more
Ancient • Roman
Ancient Roman Costumes • Wedding dresses
Bust of a Bacchante. Maenad of Dionysiac cycle.
Bust of a Bacchante. Female bust, with the upper part of the head bound round with a fillet. Un... Read more
Ancient • Ancient Greece • Hairstyle • Mythology
Ancient Greek headdresses • Ancient sculpture
Celtic relics, ornaments of gold and bronze.
Celtic relics Personal ornaments, etc, of gold and bronze. The original is a drawing made for ... Read more
Ancient • British fashion history • Celts • England • Gauls
Celtic • English history • Jewelry • Pictures and Royal Portraits