|IMPORTANT LARGE ROMAN MARBLE JANIFORM HERM OF HERMES (MERCURY) AS PATRON OF MERCHANTS AND COMMERCE
Both sides show over-lifesize youthful depictions of the god, the eyes articulated and gazing to his right, with feathered wings emerging from curly hair, bound with a twisted fillet, the ties falling at his shoulders; the busts emerging from a column with pilasters to either side and an abacus above.
Herms were mounted atop a quadrangular pillar and used as boundary markers at gateways or crossroads. For an example in the Fitzwilliam Museum, cf. L. Budde & R. Nicholls, A Catalogue of the Greek and Roman Sculpture in the Fitwilliam Museum Cambridge, Cambridge, 1967, pl.32, fig 95, p.60. They more commonly depict an older Hermes, after the Greek original by Alkamenes, cf. G.M.A. Richter, The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, Yale, 1970, p. 182, fig 673. This janiform example with its youthful depictions of the messenger of the gods is more unusual, although the influence of Hellenistic originals can still be seen in the softly-curving facial features and open mouths.
Ex Fazel collection, UK, early 1970s; European private collection, 1986.
2nd Century AD
H. 17 in. (43.3 cm.
Art of the Ancient World, 2012, no. 16