Phoenix Ancient Art, one of the world’s leading dealers in rare, high quality antiquities from Western civilizations, today announced that its exhibition, “IMAGO - Four Centuries of Roman Portraiture,” will open to the public on December 6 and is expected to run until January 16, 2008. Accompanying the show is a tailor-made, 16-piece, full-color Roman portraits catalogue which presents the works on display as part of the gallery’s ongoing series of scholarly exhibitions and fair publications.
“The exhibition is intended to provide collectors and museums with a personal glimpse into Rome, one of the world’s greatest civilizations, as seen through the eyes of those who witnessed it,” said Hicham Aboutaam, co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art. "The sculptures, created in marble, bronze, gold, and chalcedony, range from the second half of the 1st century B.C. to the middle of the 4th century A.D. giving a visual timeline of the evolution of ancient Rome, from the time of Augustus to Constantine the Great.”
IMAGO will showcase sixteen portraits including a major, over life size marble head of Tiberius, emperor of Rome from 14-37 A.D. This portrait head, which was found in Algeria during the late 19th century, is sculpted from luminous white marble and is arguably the finest one known of Tiberius. He was known for his strong build and intelligence, which is highlighted by the nearly impenetrable gaze of his eyes in this extraordinary head.
Another highlight of the collection is a bust of a matron from the Flavian Period, between the late 1st and early 2nd century A.D.; once belonging to a 19th century collection in Vienna. Most impressive is the intricate carving of the woman’s hair, which forms a honeycomb-like network before ending in two chignons. Roman women were notorious for intricate hairstyles, and the wig-like appearance of the sculpture indicates the subject’s great wealth and level in Roman society.
“This great collection will not only be admired by our existing clientele, it will surely introduce and entice all other art collectors into fine classical art,” said Ali Aboutaam, co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art.
In addition to IMAGO, Phoenix Ancient Art will display a collection of rarely-seen works and EXOTICS OF THE CLASSICAL WORLD, a 40-piece catalogue featuring representations of dancers, actors, Africans, grotesques, those with unusual physical maladies and house servants - all of whom were vital and often overlooked members of ancient society. The grotesque collection debuted at the Geneva gallery in January 2007.
... I don't know ... Phoenix Art has some very nice stuff but an awful lot seems to come from the "Swiss Art Market" in the 1990s ...