Roman Bronze Statuette of a Ram


An Ancient Roman cast bronze figurine of a ram, naturalistically modelled with facial and anatomical details, such as eyes, horns, eyes, tail and limbs, rendered through incised lines. The ram stands on a small, flat base, which allows the figurine to stand upright, and is shown with a cloth saddle, on which the figure of Cupid or Mercury might have sat; the perforation to the ram’s back supports this theory. The bronze features some light patination, which enhances the visibility of the detailing. Bronze figurines of this type would have been placed as votive offerings in temples or domestic shrines.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD
Condition: Fine, with some patination to the surface.


SKU: FP-248 Category: Tags: , ,

Eros, known as Cupid in the Roman pantheon, riding an animal was a particularly loved decorative motif by the Romans, used in different variants and appearing in different artistic forms, such as intaglio, frescos, mosaics, oil lamps and bronze statuettes. Eros riding a goat or ram can be interpreted in reference to the god Dionysus, or Bacchus for the Romans. In several Dionysian and Seasons sarcophagi dating to the Roman Empire period, Erotes have been portrayed joyfully riding or in the company of goats and rams, perfectly insert in bucolic scenes. Such iconography might be also linked to the cult of Aphrodite Pandemos, who appears riding a goat herself. However, iconographies of Mercury, either in his adult or infant form, riding a goat or ram, have also been recovered, possibly symbolising the entrance of the deity in the realm of Dionysus.PM-47

For more information about the meanings of animals in Roman art, see our relevant blog post:Animal Symbolism in Roman Art.

Weight 38.6 g
Dimensions L 3.5 x H 3.8 cm



Roman Mythology


Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum, item 1824,0473.2

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