Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Statue of a satyr in red marble

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a red-marble statue of a satyr, the so-called “Fauno rosso” (red faun).

The so-called Fauno rosso, a statue in red-marble depicting a drunken satyr, Hadrianic copy of a Greek original from the late Hellenistic, from Hadrian's Villa, Palazzo Nuovo, Capitoline Museums

The so-called Fauno rosso, a statue in red-marble depicting a drunken satyr, Hadrianic copy of a Greek original from the late Hellenistic, from Hadrian’s Villa, Palazzo Nuovo, Capitoline Museums

The Fauno rosso depicts a satyr, follower of Dionysus, the god of wine. He is depicted entirely nude apart from a nebris (faun skin) knotted on the right shoulder and hanging down over his left shoulder. The satyr raises his right arm and holds a cluster of grapes, symbols of harvest. He also carries a large pedum (shepherd’s crook) in his left hand, another common piece of iconography associated with satyrs. The empty eye sockets were probably filled with glass or hard stones.

The so-called Fauno rosso, a statue in red-marble depicting a drunken satyr, Hadrianic copy of a Greek original from the late Hellenistic, from Hadrian's Villa, Palazzo Nuovo, Capitoline Museums

The so-called Fauno rosso, a statue in red-marble depicting a drunken satyr, Hadrianic copy of a Greek original from the late Hellenistic, from Hadrian’s Villa, Palazzo Nuovo, Capitoline Museums

To the left of the satyr is a goat that looks up at him and rests one leg on a wicker basket.

To the satyr’s right is a supporting trunk with a shepherd’s pipe hanging from it.

Detail of the

Detail of the “Fauno rosso”, a red-marble statue depicting a drunken satyr, Hadrianic copy of a Greek original from the late Hellenistic, from Hadrian’s Villa, Palazzo Nuovo, Capitoline Museums

The statue is believed to be a Roman copy of a late Hellenistic Greek original, probably in bronze. It was commissioned by Hadrian himself and was most likely sculpted by Aristeas and Papias of Aphrodisias in Asia Minor (they signed two other sculptures found at the Villa, the “Furietti Centaurs“). The figure is made of an ancient red marble from Laconia, a region in the Peloponnese in Greece, suggesting that the satyr is so drunk that his skin has turned into the color of the grapes.

This statue was found in fragments in 1736 in an area of the Villa called the Academy by Giuseppe Furietti, an antiquarian who obtained rights to excavate at the Villa. Pope Benedict XIV Lambertini gave the sculpture to the Capitoline Museum in 1746 where it has been on public display ever since. The fragmentary statue was restored in 1751 by the Italian sculptors Bartolomeo Cavaceppi and Clemente Bianchi. They added many pieces of rosso granato marble (arms, legs, the base, the trunk with the shepherd’s pipe, the goat and the basket), characterized by greyish veins.

Source: http://capitolini.info/scu00657/?lang=en

About followinghadrian

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4 Responses to Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Statue of a satyr in red marble

  1. Bob Atchison says:

    I especially appreciated the part where you explained the restoration was made with a red granite. I hadn’t noticed that before. The restoration was extensive. Should we consider the goat, basket and trunk entirely new creations of the 118th century? It looks like the tip of one of horns might have been made of the red Greek marble. This blog is exceptional and I look forward to every post. Thank you for the hard work you put into it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • followinghadrian says:

      Thank you so much for the compliment!🙂
      Yes, we should consider the goat, basket and trunk almost entirely new 18th century creations. All that was found of the original statue was the head, the nude torso, part of the left arm, the torso of the goat, some of the fruit on the nebris, a fragment of the basket and one thumb.

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      • Bob Atchison says:

        So they had fragments to lead them in the restoration only the trunk of the tree was entirely ‘new’. 99.9% of the people who see this statue never think about the restorations because they don’t know about them. Personally I am in favor of restorations like this., as long as the repairs are documented. The restorations here are relatively seamless here – although obvious once the different stone is pointed out. Imagine how different the experience would be if we were just looking at fragments. I wonder why they used different stone – perhaps they didn’t have any or enough to work with. That red Greek marble would have been in great demand and I assume everything ‘in stock’ was spolia at the time and it was not being quarried

        Liked by 1 person

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