The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, August 1, 2014


Pristine Roman sculpture discovered by archaeologists goes on display at the Museum of London
Minories eagle and serpent © MOLA Andy Chopping.
LONDON.- Archaeologists have discovered an extraordinary Roman sculpture in the form of an eagle firmly grasping a writhing serpent in its beak. The find was uncovered on a site in the City of London, ahead of development of a 16 storey 291 bed hotel by Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) and its development partners Endurance Land. The team from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) were at first hesitant to announce the discovery and to proclaim its Roman origins, owing to its almost unbelievable condition.

Specialists have now confirmed that the sculpture dates to the 1st or 2nd century AD. Depictions of eagles and serpents are typically Roman but the closest comparison to this sculpture comes from Jordan. The symbolism is understood as the struggle of good, the eagle, against evil, the snake. This theme is common in funerary contexts and an important Roman cemetery is known to have been located on the site. Archaeologists believe that this statue once adorned a rich mausoleum, the foundations of which were also unearthed. The lack of weathering on the statue corroborates this theory, as does the absence of detail on the back of the sculpture; suggesting it once sat it an alcove.

Described by experts as ‘amongst the very best statues surviving from Roman Britain’, the skill of the craftsman is apparent; with the forked tongue of the snake and the individual feathers of the eagle still clearly discernible today. Some 65cm tall and 55cm wide, the sculpture is made from oolitic limestone from the Cotswolds. A well-known and celebrated school of Romano-British sculptors worked in the area but to date examples of their exquisite work has been scant and fragmentary.

Michael Marshall, MOLA Finds Specialist, said: “The eagle is a classically Roman symbol and this new find provides a fascinating new insight into the inhabitants of Roman London and demonstrates their familiarity with the iconography of the wider classical world. Funerary sculpture from the city is very rare and this example, perhaps from inside a mausoleum, is a particularly fine example which will help us to understand how the cemeteries and tombs that lined the roads out of the city were furnished and the beliefs of those buried there.”

Reverend Professor Martin Henig, said: “The sculpture is of exceptional quality, the finest sculpture by a Romano-British artist ever found in London and amongst the very best statues surviving from Roman Britain. Its condition is extraordinary; the carving as crisp as on the day it was carved. All it has lost is the surface paint, probably washed away when it was deposited in a ditch.”

The object will go on display for 6 months at the Museum of London from the 30th of October 2013 so that members of the public can see this rare and remarkable piece in all its glory.



Today's News

October 30, 2013

Centre Pompidou takes a new look at a major avant-garde movement of the 20th century

Dutch museum artworks may be Nazi loot, probe by Netherlands Museum Association reveals

Pristine Roman sculpture discovered by archaeologists goes on display at the Museum of London

A rare painting by Johannes Vermeer is placed on view at Philadelphia Museum of Art

Prestel book accompanies major David Hockney exhibition on view in San Francisco

National Museums of Kenya: Ancient past challenges modern teaching in 'cradle of mankind'

Visions of Paris: Royal Academy of Arts in London opens Honoré Daumier exhibition

The Courts of Europe: From the Renaissance to the Rococo at Sotheby's New York

Exhibition at Museo Fondazione Roma presents riches from a Neapolitan treasure trove

Dallas Museum of Art promotes Kevin W. Tucker to Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design

Doyle New York to auction European, American, Modern & Contemporary art on November 5

Hi-tech aqueduct explorers using GPS technology and remote control robots, map ancient Rome's 'final frontier'

Sotheby's London to offer Sir William Orpen's Portrait of Lady Idina Wallace

New leadership team to reshape Powerhouse Museum announced

Jewel casket from Medici Grand Ducal Ateliers in Florence brings $617,000 at fall Bonhams auction

Städelschule Frankfurt announces Philippe Pirotte as new Director

Worcester Art Museum appoints new Director of Curatorial Affairs

Signs on the Road: CAC Malaga celebrates its tenth anniversary with exhibition

Sioux boy's beaded hide shirt from the Pasvolsky Collection highlights American Indian Art Sale

Pair of Paul Storr entree dishes expected to bring $20,000+ to highlight Silver & Vertu at Heritage Auctions

Stair Galleries sets world record for Fabergé hardstone figure, selling for $5,980,000

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome

2.- Romanians must pay 18 million euros over Kunsthal Museum Rotterdam art heist

3.- Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi defends cute character as cat turns 40 years old

4.- eBay and Sotheby's partner to bring world class art and collectibles to a global community

5.- Exhibition on Screen returns with new series of films bringing great art to big screens across the globe

6.- Marina Abramović reaches half way point of her '512 Hours' performance at the Serpentine Gallery

7.- The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

8.- United States comic icon Archie Andrews dies saving openly gay character

9.- New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

10.- Exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents an analysis of the concept of the 'unfinished'



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site