This representation of the goddess Artemis does not conform to any of the known statuary types of the goddess and departs from her usual iconography in several significant ways: she is shown as an adolescent girl rather than as a fully developed young woman; she is captured in the moment immediately following the shooting of her bow rather than grasping an arrow from her quiver or preparing to shoot (s.v. 'Artemis/Diana, LIMC, Vol. II, passim); unlike the Diana of Versailles, for example, she does not grab the antlers of her leaping stag but lets it stand peacefully at her side as her attribute and symbolic beast, in much the same way that Priapus or Eros stand by Aphrodite and gaze up at her on small bronze groups (e.g. Sotheby’s, New York, June 12, 2001, No. 21); her chiton, which normally appears windblown only when the goddess is shown running, billows symmetrically at her sides in a manner highly reminiscent of the Lares, the Roman household gods usually cast as small figurines and kept in domestic shrines (see Bieber op. cit., pl. 51); it also recalls the billowing garment of the goddess Nike or Victory alighting (see M. Bieber, Die Antiken Skulpturen und Bronzen… in Cassel, Marburg, 1915, No. 153), and the manner in which her chiton clings to her thighs and lower abdomen more generally alludes to the "wet drapery" style of late 5th century B.C. Attic sculpture (see A. Stewart, Greek Art, New Haven, 1990, Fig. 408). All these departures from the norm, whether iconographical borrowings or stylistic quotations, suggest that the present group is a late Hellenistic creation designed for the eclectic and highly refined taste of the Roman art market in the late Republic or early Empire.
For another example of a stag standing by the side of the goddess see the small bronze group - without base - in Malibu (Herbert Stothart, A Handbook of the Sculpture in the Paul Getty Museum, 1965, p. 15, No. A57.S-12, pl. 7). For a marble example of the quiver positioned diagonally on the right shoulder blade and half covered by Artemis’ billowing himation, see Sotheby's, New York, December 14, 1994, No. 143.
In-depth technical examination conducted immediately prior to the Fire of Hephaistos exhibition at the Objects Conservation lab of the Fogg Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has revealed that 'the bronze is an indirect cast, assembled from a number of sections. The right arm was separately cast and joined along a vertical line beneath the chiton over the shoulder… the left arm seems to have been cast separately from just below the drapery, so that this join was not hidden… Many features were added after casting: the drapery falling over the left shoulder, the thick roll of cloth at the waist, and three deeply undercut tubular folds in the skirt of the chiton' (Mattusch, ed. 1996, p. 276). The legs were also each cast separately.
According to Ugo Jandolo, the first known owner of the statue and an important figure in the antiquities market of the first half of the 20th century in Rome, the figure of Artemis and the stag came to light fortuitously before the early 1930s during the rebuilding of houses near Saint John Lateran, the cathedral church of Rome. In this same area Vatican-led excavations have since exposed the foundations and parts of the walls of private houses or villas dated to the 2nd Century A.D., some of them decorated with wall paintings (see Paolo Liverni, ed., Laterano 1. Scavi sotto la basilica di S. Giovanni in Laterano. I materiali, Città del Vaticano, 1998). Recent excavations in the neighboring Via dell’ Amba Aradam have revealed an earlier building thought to be the house of the Pisoni and Laterani expropriated by Nero in the mid 1st Century A.D. The statue of Artemis is more likely to have graced the halls or gardens of such grand private residences rather than a public space or building.
Height of Artemis 36 1/4 in.; height of base 12 1/2 in.; height of stag 16 3/4 in.; 92.1 cm, 31.8 cm, 42.6 cm
"Goddess in Buffalo," Time Magazine, June 22, 1953
Buffalo Business, July 1953, p. 34 (illustrated)
Buffalo Courier-Express. Pictorial, Sunday, November 1, 1953 (pre-cleaning detail photo on p. 4)
Edgar C. Schenk and Patrick J. Kelleher, "Diana and the Stag - a Hellenistic Bronze," Gallery Notes, Vol. 18, No. 2, 1954, pp. 3-6, with a technical analysis by William J. Young, pp. 6-7, Figs. 1-13
Cornelius C. Vermeule, Michigan Daily, May 22, 1955, p. 15
Margarete Bieber, Ancient Copies: Contributions to the History of Greek and Roman Art, New York, 1977, pp. 75 and 82, Figs. 287-289
Steven A. Nash, with Katy Kline, Charlotta Kotik and Emese Wood, Albright-Knox Gallery. Painting and Sculpture from Antiquity to 1942, New York, 1979, pp. 62-63 (illustrated)
Cornelius C. Vermeule, Greek Art: Socrates to Sulla, from the Peloponnesian Wars to the Rise of Julius Caesar, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1980, pp. 86 and 133, Fig. 113
Cornelius C. Vermeule, Greek and Roman Sculpture in America. Masterpieces in Public Collections in the United States and Canada, Malibu, California, 1981, p. 169, illus., and colorplate 13
Carol C. Mattusch, ed., The Fire of Hephaistos: Large Classical Bronzes from North American Collections, catalogue of the exhibition, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1996, No. 35, pp. 274-282, Figs. 34 a-q, pl. 5 and frontispiece
Nancy Stapen, "Smashing Assumptions Cast in Bronze," The Boston Globe, Tuesday, May 28, 1996, Art section, p. 36 (illustrated)
Jonathan Shaw, "The Fire of Hephaistos: How the Science Driving an Exhibition Changes our Understanding of Classical Bronze Statuary," Harvard Magazine, May-June, 1996, illus. pp. 55 (x-ray), 57, 58, and 62
Sandra E. Knudsen, "The Fire of Hephaistos," Minerva Magazine, Vol. 7, No. 3, June 1996, p. 28 (illustrated)
Archaeology, May/June 1996, cover illus.
Carol C. Mattusch, Myth, Man and Metal: Bronze Sculpture of Ancient Greece and Rome, Institute of Mediterranean Studies Video Lecture Series, Vol. III, 1996
Janet Burnett Grossman, review of C.C. Mattusch, Myth, Man and Metal, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review, June 8, 1997
Ugo Jandolo, and Pierro Tozzi, New York, 1953