This large scale plaster bust depicts Niobe of Greek mythology. She is looking to the side, gazing slightly upward, and she wears a draped top with her long curly hair falling down upon her shoulders. This is an Italian work, circa 1880, based on the 1,900 year-old Roman copy of the Greek original!
In Greek Mythology, she was the queen of Thebes, wife of King Amphion and daughter of Tantalus. She had seven sons and seven daughters and bragged about her fertility whenever she could. At an annual celebration in honor of Leto, mother of Artemis and Apollo, Niobe said she should be honored instead. She had 14 children to Leto’s two. So offended at her outburst, Apollo with his poison arrows killed Niobe’s sons and Artemis killed her daughters. Totally devastated by this, her husband killed himself, while Niobe fled back to Mount Sipylus. She was turned into stone where her tears fell from her petrified complexion. There is a rock formation which resembles a female face that is known as the “Weeping Rock” since rainwater seeps through its porous limestone. The myth serves as a warning against the damages of excessive pride.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with old surface buildup, evidence of old polychrome, minor splits and nicks as seen in photos