Stunning Example of a Carved Alabaster Male Nude of "The Dying Gaul" depicts a wounded, slumping Celt carved with remarkable realism. A bleeding sword puncture is visible in his lower right chest. Complete with original black and green speckle marble base, first half of the Nineteenth Century
The figure is represented as a Celtic Warrior with characteristic hairstyle and moustache wearing a torc around his neck. He lies on his fallen shield while his sword, belt and a curved trumpet lie beside him. The sword hilt bears a Lion's head.
Height: (entire overall as shown in image one) 12.25” (31cm). Width: (at marble base) 18.75” (47.5cm). Depth: (at marble base) 9" (23cm).
Condition: Good condition for such an early piece. There are a few small losses here and there, ting chip on trumpet rim, his large toe is missing on his right foot, no losses to marble base.
Location: Dublin City, Ireland.
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The Dying Gaul, also called The Dying Galatian or The Dying Gladiator, is an ancient Roman marble copy of a lost Hellenistic sculpture thought to have been executed in bronze. The original may have been commissioned sometime between 230 and 220 BC by Attalus of Pergamon to celebrate his victory over the Galatians, the Celtic or Gaulish people of parts of Anatolia (modern Turkey). The identity of the sculptor of the original is unknown, but it has been suggested that Epigonus, court sculptor of the Attalid dynasty of Pergamon, may have been the creator. The copies were most commonly known as The Dying Gladiator until the 20th century, on the assumption that it depicted a wounded gladiator in a Roman amphitheatre. Scholars had identified it as a Gaul or Galatian by the mid-19th century, but it took many decades for the new title to achieve popular acceptance.
Alabaster is a stone. Alabaster is the common name for soft, smooth, fine-grained sedimentary gypsum rock. Generally white or delicately shaded and translucent, alabaster of substantial thickness (1-2 inches) allows light to pass through it.
Deposits of alabaster are found in many countries of the world such as England, Belgium, India, Turkey, Cyprus, United States of America, Italy and Spain. Quarried in open pits, veins of alabaster are found 12-20 feet below the surface. The rocks are normally 16"-20" in height and 2-3 feet in diameter. Very rarely do they exceed this size. Stones from the quarry are transported to a sawmill where the alabaster is sawed into flat round "pancakes" of various sizes for later turning, hand-carving or more detailed sawing.