This unusual antique Neoclassical domed bronze relief features an oceanic scene populated by mythological creatures including an Ichthyocentaur - a sea-centaur - ridden by a Nereid - a sea nymph. The pair are attended by a trio of Erotes. Two of the Erotes hold a large fabric backdrop while the third serenades the pair with a flute. Similar images can be seen in ancient mosaics from the Greco-Roman world.
The sea dwelling Ichthyocentaur has a man's upper body, the body and forelegs of a horse and the long serpent-like tail of a fish covered in scales. The creature's forelegs and long tail both terminate in fins. The figure has well defined facial features along with a mustache and long beard. He holds a lyre in his front hands as he makes his way on top of the waves.
The bare chested Nereid has long hair which cascades over her shoulders. She sits on the Ichthyocentaur's back while holding a large trident in her right hand. Her foot dangles just above a fish who is swimming alongside the group.
The relief has a convex ovoid form with a series of wires that have been attached to the back. There is also a piece of twine at the base. The purpose of the wires and twine is unknown but likely related to display. The piece measures 6" by 3.75" and is projects 2.5" at its deepest point. It weighs in at 2.5oz. The relief is in good "as found" condition showing appropriate signs of age consisting a a few small pinpoint holes along with accumulated material in the back side of the relief areas. There are also minor scratches and scuffs present. As seen in the accompanying photographs, these issues do not detract from the appearance of the piece and serve to enhance its antique appeal.
This 19th century bronze relief artwork displays beautifully and would be a wonderful addition to a collection of Neoclassical art. A striking antique find!
Antique 19th Century Neoclassical Domed Bronze Relief Nereid Sea Nymph Bearing Trident Riding Ichthyocentaur Sea-Centaur with Cherubs