TITLE: God Eros
PERIOD: 1st Century BC – 1st Century AD
DIMENSIONS: Height 9.5 cm
PRICE: 3,500 euros
PROVENANCE: Private collection of Mr. Surrey, England. Acquired at the beginning of the 1970s.
CONDITION: In a good state of preservation
A figure representing the god Eros, in a standing position with his right arm raised. He was a primordial god of desire, also related to fertility. The most widely known myth describes him as the son of Venus and Mars as he unites the qualities of love and violence. He is represented as a youth with hair curling down to his shoulders. The left leg is extended further forward than the right, as if he were about to take a step. The left arm, which is partially missing, would seem to lie along the side of the body, while his right is totally separated from the trunk. The head is slightly inclined to the right.
The lararium was a small shrine in Roman houses in which the family members could place offerings on an altar and offer up prayers to the household gods. These were represented by statuettes called lares, mostly made of bronze. In patrician residences the lararium was in general found in the atrium, the central hall of the residence. In a simpler residence without an atrium, the shrine would be more or less in the kitchen near the central fire.
The technique of lost wax casting is a sculptural procedure using a mould made from a prototype of the piece to be worked, and this prototype is usually made from beeswax. This is covered with a thick layer of soft material, usually clay, which then solidifies. Once this has hardened it is put in a kiln where the wax inside melts and leaks out from expressly made holes in the clay. In its place molten metal is injected and this takes on the exact form of the mould. To remove the final piece the mould must be removed.