Cerberus

Cerberus

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Focus:
Author/ School/ Dating:

Imperial age, Rome, I century BC - I century AD

Technique and Dimensions:

Marble, height 98 cm

Location:

First Floor, Last Room, in state storage (inv. no. RCGE 1049)

Provenance:

Genoa, Via Fieschi, 1936

Object Type:

Sculpture

 

The sculpture group of Cerberus is an extraordinary, unique work made in Genoa in the early Roman Empire times. Cerberus is a monster of ancient mythology, a ferocious dog with three heads who guards the realm of the dead.

The monster, which in this particular piece retains two of its three heads, is crouching on its hind legs while its right front foot is resting its claws on a severed human head. The face of the deceased has the swollen features of death. The monster's tail is in the form of a crested snake with wattles, in the manner of Etruscan and Italic depictions

This sculpture was found in Genoa in the area of what is now Via Fieschi, in a burial area alongside a road, and it encapsulates both Mediterranean influences, such as the mythological figure of Cerberus and the tail, and Celtic-Ligurian such as the severed human head.