University of Kansas, Lippincott Hall

Germanicus of Kleomenes



Modern plaster replica of a Roman original of ca. 50 BCE by the sculptor Kleomenes. The cast has an incised or stamped number (2379) in the upper left corner of the front of the base; this resembles the number stamped into the front of the Venus di Milo and may imply that this statue too was purchased from the Brucciani cast company of London. The original is in the Louvre, Paris.

The statue, erroneously identified as Germanicus, a member of the family of the Emperor Augustus, probably should be considered a portrait of a member of a wealthy family of the late Republic, here represented with a body copied from a well-known statue of the god Hermes (Mercury), the Orator, which stood in Athens. The tortoise below the drapery at the right alludes to Hermes' invention of the lyre for which the shell served as sounding board; the god appears to be holding a plectrum in his right hand to strike the strings of the lyre. The work is executed in the classicizing style popular in the 1st century BCE when sculptors like Kleomenes looked for inspiration to the masters of the 5th and 4th centuries in Greece.

Featured item:

Nike (Victory) of Samothrace (reduced size)
Modern plaster replica (given to the Wilcox by the KU Department of French and Italian) at a about 1/2 scale of a Greek original of ca. 190 BCE (original is just over 8 ft tall). According to the small metal oval in the back, the cast was purchased from the Caproni Bros. cast company of Boston probably in 1885.

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