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Roman Art

Roman bronze Hermes.
Julio-Claudian 14 ??? 68 AD.
H. 11 cm (4 5/16 in.)
Missing attributes, otherwise perfect. Very fine glossy green patina.
Ex. Israeli collection, Jerusalem, prior to year 2000

The youth is standing frontal, his weight over his right leg which is slightly bent while his left leg is set backwards and the foot is slightly elevated. His right arm is outstretched, the left arm is bent to hold an attribute. The figure is nude apart from a chlamys falling from his left shoulder over his left arm, and a pair of high sandals.

The figure is finely modeled in elegant posture. The head is slightly turned to the right, with oval face, with high forehead, narrow chin, delineated brows and straight nose. The hair arranged in comma-shaped locks. The body with gentle muscular anatomic details and exposed genitalia. The chlamys falls elegantly with fine folds.

The youth figure is possibly representing the god Hermes (-Mercury), the Olympian gods messenger, and the patron of the trade. His right hand may have been holding the money purse and the left arm the caduceus – the messenger’s staff. The button on top of the head may have held the winged petassos – the messenger’s hat. The posture and the chlamys are typical to the figures of Hermes.

Cf. Mitten, D. G., and Doeringer, S. F., eds, Fogg Art Museum, 1967, fig. 247, p. 257.



Mitten, D. G., and Doeringer, S. F., editors, Master Bronzes from the Classical World, Exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass., 1967.

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  Roman bronze Hermes. Click on any image to enlarge it.

Roman bronze Hermes.Roman bronze Hermes.

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