NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--An exhibition filled with beautiful textures, translucency, a variety of colors and crystalline structures will be on view in New York on July 5th through August 25th. Visit Zeus, Aphrodite, Commodus, and the Roman Aristocracy in all of their glory.
“I found Rome a city of bricks, and left her a city of marble” the Roman historian Suetonius Tranquillus quoted Emperor Augustus. Ali Aboutaam says “this has always been a favorite quote of mine and it is Augustus’ legacy to marble that sparkled Phoenix Ancient Art’s splendid exhibition: Marble Mania.”
Of all the materials used by ancient craftsmen for their needs, marble is both universal and unique. The stone possesses qualities that captivated many sculptors. Although marbles of other colors were used, white marble became the major material represented in Greek and Roman sculpture. Visitors will be pleasantly surprised by the enigmatic marble “idols” of the Early Bronze Age, with the most known being from the Cycladic and Anatolian worlds, with a level of sophistication and appeal in their abstract and contemporary forms.
Hicham Aboutaam adds, “The supremacy of marble is fabulously evidenced throughout ancient history, from the Sarcophagus of Alexander in Istanbul, to the Venus de Milos at the Louvre, to the statue of Augustus Prima Porta at the Vatican.”
Marble mania started with the Renaissance exploration of the Greek islands by the Venetians and the archaeological diggings of ancient Rome, Pompeii, and Herculaneum. To collect precious figural sculptures, architectural fragments, and plaques with inscriptions, the artists, architects, scholars, and noble and wealthy Grand Tourists flooded Italy, where the market of marble sculptures, and, accordingly, the schools of restoration had been established.
On July 5th, Phoenix Ancient Art will demonstrate the vestiges of that great marble mania with a display of 60 marble works of art with impeccable provenance, including a large and fascinating Classical Greek relief, which was acquired on the Greek island of Corfu in 1761 by Jacopo Nani. (Jacopo and his brother Bernardo founded the Nani Museum in Venice from where this relief was de-accessioned in the 19th century.) The scene is depicting the three daughters of Zeus grouped around a celestial globe spinning the threads of human destiny. They were named Clotho (Spinner), who spun the thread of human fate, Lachesis (Allotter), who dispensed it, and Atropos (Inflexible), who cut the thread, thus determining the length of a person’s life and the moment of their death.
Another highlight of the show will be the Apobates Race relief, a world class Greek masterpiece with newly discovered provenance placing it in the Sir Donohue and Countess Bernardine collection in Los Angeles in the 1960s. See LA Times article on Countess Bernardine’s family: "A Tycoon With a Gift for Generosity". Depicted on this relief is an athlete in an apobates race, which consisted of leaping on and off a quadriga (chariot of four horses) while it continued racing. The apobates races represented the main attraction of the Panathenaic games in Athens, where they were introduced by the legendary King Erichthonius and subsequently appeared in the famous frieze of the Parthenon.
Marble Mania will be open to the public from July 5th – August 25th 2017 at 47 East 66th street, New York from 10am – 5:30pm, Monday through Friday.
ABOUT PHOENIX ANCIENT ART
With galleries in New York City and Geneva, Switzerland, Phoenix Ancient Art is one of the world's leading dealers in rare and exquisite antiquities with a focus on Greek and Roman, Near Eastern and Egyptian art. Its works of art have been acquired by world-class museums around the world, as well as by private collectors. Phoenix Ancient Art is a second-generation family business that was founded by Sleiman Aboutaam in 1968 and continues today under the leadership of his sons, Hicham and Ali Aboutaam.