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SCULPTURE,

ANTIQUE, 0-01-. FRENCH

MUSEUM.

MERCURY AND VULCAN.

This group was at first takon sor Castor and Pollux ; it was afterwards believed to represeut Pylades and Orestes, and guided by this supposition, the artist who restored it, placed in the hand of one of the figures the letter destined for Electra. But this modern symbol affords no presumption against the evidence of two ancient ones, the caduceus and the twoedged axe, the respective emblems of Mercury and Vulcan ; which are sculptured, in demi-relief, on the trunk of a tree that supporis the statues.

a This group, says M'. de St. Victor, bears all the marks of an original work. The attitudes are simple, natural and graceful: and the design , delicate, correct and uniformly ele gant, indicates, by its noble simplicity of style, a period of the art, immediately following that at which it arrived at perfection. The heads, though injured by time, and artificially joined to the statues , certainly belong to them. »

Mercury's hair is simply arranged; but Vulcan's offers a peculiarity unexampled in the ancient monuments, being bound with a long mat, over which are turned up the locks that should fall

upon

the forehead. The hands and lower half of the arms of both statues, with the right foot of Vulcan, are modern reparations.

This group, which is now in the French Museum, was brought from the Borghese Villa.

Height, 4 feet 5 inches.

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