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63

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 4. Claudius

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THE ROMAN EMPERORS IN MARBLE. 63
His is a well formed head, against which from the
point of view of beauty, one can hardly note anything,
but that the oval of the face is somewhat too compressed.
The broad forehead is overcast with clouds of melancholy.
The eyes disclose with their unsteady, sad and kindly
look, a plodding and suffering spirit, that is conscious of
its noble birth, but unable to maintain its freedom. The
mouth is well modelled, and indicates a refinement of
feeling one should not have expected here, but which,
upon impartial investigation of Claudius’s nature, comes
to light. The bearing is noble, but constrained ; the
formation of the body, irreproachable, with exception of
the narrow shoulders. The whole makes a painful, yet
a winning impression. We seem to see unhappiness that
has a right to plead for sympathy, and weakness coupled
with too much good for it to awaken only pity and con-
tempt.
This statue, also, proves that the old story about the
coldness of the antique, may be objected to. When the
model was such that the stress fell more upon life’s dis-
ruption than its harmony, works of art were born, ani-
mated with the fire produced by the uneven play of the
soul’s forces. But the works of antiquity do not offer
themselves for sale : to buyers they are cool. They do
not allow themselves, by anything affectedly sentimental,
anything exaggerated in the action, anything artful in
the drapery, to catch a barbarous taste. One surprises
them in the confession of their feelings ; but they do not
wish to surprise by this confession. It has often been
remarked that they seem to be in existence for their own
sake, like the flower that, seen by none, unfolds its beauty
in the depths of the primeval forest.
The statue of Claudius now spoken of, was dug out

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