C1860 Sculptured Marble Bust of Flora
Known affectionately in the shop as Carmen Miranda, this Carara marble mid-19th century marble bust is emblematic of Flora, whose usual attributes are flowers and fruit in the hair. Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers, Spring, and by extension, fertility. Our Flora shows the gravitas typical of the first two thirds of the 19th century, before the Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau demanded voluptuous curves and riotous movement. Art Nouveau depictions of Flora are more writhing plant life than goddess. At 42 cm tall she is very heavy. She is unmarked and unsigned, suggesting she is not of Italian origin. Italy had a thriving trade in marble sculpture at this time, but marbles are invariably signed by Prof. ------ and placed Roma, Fiorenze etc. I suspect she is British, that being one of the few races that would make a fertility goddess' exposed breasts subordinate to her coiffured pomegranates!
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