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SALAMIS IN THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS.
BY ALEXANDER PALMA DI CESNOLÀ, F.S.A.,
suggests that she was a leper. Her nose has been consumed, both her arms have disappeared, her figure is swollen and distorted, her gaunt face is seamed and withered. She sits on a stool—a woeful figure of misery. A still more hideous representation of an old woman grinning, without teeth, and with a tumid body, is in the collection. Seated in a chair with a very high back is a woman, who seems to be feeding a duck, or dove, in her lap. On the hem of the tunic of a standing figure of a lady, above her bust, is a clearly-marked double Greek key-fret interchanged, and coloured scarlet and deep red. Red occurs on the toga worn by this figure, as if that garment had been wholly of that colour; the tunic was quite white; a red ribbon, or car canet, is to be traced on the neck. A terra-cotta group, which forms the subject of the accompanying Plate, comprises a naked Venus standing erect, in the attitude of arranging her ample tresses under a lunette coronet, and as if just risen from the sea. Behind the figure are sportive dolphins, on the shoulder of one of which is perched a Cupid playing on a shell lyre. On the other side is a second Cupid, holding an instrument like a double clapper (or shell box, as figured at page 79), the halves of which are attached to each other by a hinge. It is said that a rude instrument of this nature, which is used to produce a loud clapping noise, was in use in Cyprus not more than forty years ago, at the time of celebrating the Death and Resurrection of our Lord according to the rites of the Roman Church. It may be it is a mirror the boy holds before his mother. The tail of one of the dolphins has been placed so as to conceal the person of the goddess. Another statue of Venus appears riding on a goose, and wearing long thin drapery, so disposed that it falls from her head, and is held open before her to display her naked figure; it returns from her hands, and is folded over her lower limbs. About the feet of the bird, herbage or grass is represented. There is a third Venus, with wings, riding astride of a dolphin, which traverses the waves of the sea. A very quaint and grotesque little figure of a Bacchante concludes my account of the female statuettes in terra-cotta in this collection. She is fat and old, much withered, and clothed in rags; her action is that of drinking from a small vase, while another such vase is suspended from her girdle, which likewise sustains a patera, or plate, on the back of which is a star-like figure, with traces of yellow pigment. She bears upright in her left hand a large vase, with two handles rising upright from its rim; a large garland on her head, with large flowers on its outer margin. Her face has the expression of vociferous singing and tipsy jollity. The statuettes of children include several of Eros and some of nameless genii. Of the latter class, I may notice a boy genius, with wings, fluttering over the earth, and dragging behind him a reluctant goat, while he bears on his head a heap of fruit. A similar genius1 is to be seen running, with a large bunch of grapes in one hand, and thus tempting a cock to follow him (fig. 223). He holds in the other hand a vase. There are traces of red, white, and pink on this group. On the back is the name of the maker. A similar winged genius, a little older than the above, carries on one shoulder a large amphora, and on the other a lighted torch. His forehead is shaded by what seems to be a large wreath of flowers. Another boy, clad only in a small mantle, carries under his left arm a swan. There is a second example of this design, in which the figure holds the swan in a somewhat different manner. It is obvious that both these figures were modelled by the same artist. There is a third similar statuette of a boy, a charming little figure, closely wrapped in a mantle, which he holds at his chest with one hand, while it is held at
1 The woodcut is kindly lent by the British Archǽological Association.
his shoulder by a fibula. He stands upright, and, with a smiling face, looks downwards. On his head is a wreath, like that which is often represented in such works as these. Another boy stands naked, except for a short cloak, wears a bulla, and carries a bag. A little naked boy, of the chubbiest form, stands with his hands against his hips, exactly in "first position" of modern military drill. It is excellently modelled, and proves to be the work of a skilled hand of a good Greek period. A crouching figure of a lad seems to be writhing on the ground in pain, if he is not in the act of playing with balls. In each of his hands is a ball as big as a large apple. Whatever the attitude of this figure may have been designed to represent, there is no doubt that the action is full of spirit and character. Like many antiquities of this material, it has been covered with a coat of thick white colour. There are, besides the above, several figures of little boys, some seated, and others who are squatting on the earth, one of which plays with a bird; a second has placed a hand on a tortoise. There are other examples of this action. A third seems to be a snake-charmer, as he sits bound about the body and arms by a large snake, which is biting his breast. There is the figure of a man seated on the earth, about whose body a large serpent is wreathing itself, while, with his left hand, the man grasps the creature's head, and presses it to the earth. A fourth crouching boy holds in one hand a large bird, it may be a goose or a swan;
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