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As Faustina Jr - Venus & Mars


FAUSTINA JUNIOR (under MARCUS AURELIUS). AE As. Rome, 169-176 AD. Obv. FAVSTINA AVGVSTA Draped bust right, double band of pearls in hair Rev. VENERI VICTRICI SC Venus, half-nude, standing r., holding the arm of Mars who stands front, head l.; Mars bears a shield on left arm. RIC 1680 (R); Cohen 241 (12 F) Rare and sought after type. Provenance: Paris Drouot auction (S. Bourgey), 22 May 07 "the fancied allusion of this reverse type to Faustina's fondness for the gladiator Narcissus, savours of scandal and need not be taken seriously. Nor does Cohen's identification of Faustina portrayed as Venus rest on any solid foundation, since the semi-nude representation of an empress, even under the guise of a divinity, is most unusual. Rather, the type appears to emphasize the quality of tenderness restraining the harsher aspects of war, and as such, may be compared with the Clementia of M. Aurelius". [Mattingly] This representation probably copies an a statuary group, which must have been famous in antiquity and itself a combination two famous statue types: the 4th century BC Venus of Capua and the 5th century Ares Borghese types. A few surviving statuary groups of this type featuring portraits of married aristocrats on the bodies of the Mars and Venus survive from the Antonine period and reflect both the popularity of the motif at the time and the desire of the well to do be portrayed in the guise of deities. [with CNG] A recent exhibition in Rome showing recently discovered artifacts in the area "Rome: memories from the underground, archeological findings 1980-2006", was displaying a Venus and Mars marble group, with very similar position (like Venus taking Mars arm); clothings differ (Venus is clothed, Mars wears imperial fashion armour): [IMG]http://www.ancients.info/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1520&d=1180830916[/IMG]

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Faustina Jr

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