PENTHESILEA, QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS: AN ALLEGORICAL SCULPTURAL GROUP CLOCK

PENTHESILEA, QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS: AN ALLEGORICAL SCULPTURAL GROUP CLOCK

1820 Continental

Offered by Charles Plante Fine Arts

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To be executed in statuary marble; enamel dial with gilt bronze center

The queen, helmeted and with a pelta shield, wielding an axe, mounted on a horse rearing over a cowering helmeted warrior with uplifted circular shield, nude except for his sword scabbard and a loin drapery, in the center a rocky outcrop containing the clock 25in.

As recounted in Homer's Odyssey, Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons, came with a band of female warriors to the aid of besieged Troy. The Amazons were famed for their valour in battle and the fear they inspired by their war cry. Penthesilea slew many of the bravest Greek warriors laying siege to Troy, but was herself finally slain by the Greek hero Achilles. However, once he saw her beauty and youth face to face, having bent over his fallen foe, Achilles regretted killing her. For the allegorical significance of the Trojan War and its aftermath, see Introduction, Themes and Iconography, p. XXX above A clock of this exact model, but in patinated bronze and Sienna marble, is in the Spanish royal collection; see Carvajal, 373, #368. A variant of this design (with the omission of the warrior) forms one of a pair, the counterpart with the composition in reverse but with a figure of Achilles on the rearing horse. Both clocks are in the same collection; see Carvajal, 409, #405 & 479, #483, As a pair, the horses must derive from the Chevaux de Marly (see Ottomeyer & Preschel, II, 688, 1). A figure closely relating to the figure of the cowering Greek warrior of the present design is found on another clock in the Spanish royal collection; see Carvajal, 308, #297. The style and execution of all these "Trojan War" clocks recalls the following clock models, also in the Spanish royal collection: Jason and the Golden Fleece; Minerva; Alexander and the Family of Darius; and Paris Protected by Hector; see Carvajal, #166, #223, #269; #165; #154; #262.
Dimensions
Height 73.00 cm (28.74 inches)
Width 54.60 cm (21.50 inches)
Medium
Watercolour, gouache and pen and ink, on laid paper
Signed/Inscribed
Inscribed: Penthesile et Guerrier; marbre et bronze (Penthesilea and a warrior; marble and bronze)
Charles Plante Fine Arts

Charles Plante Fine Arts
50 Gloucester Street
London
SW1V 4EH

+44 (0)20 7834 3305
+44 (0)7798 626249
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