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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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pomegranate in her hand, and corn-measure upon her
Many conjectures clung to this group from the very
day it was dug out of the earth; but the first who gave
an admissible explanation was the brother of the poet
Ludwig Tieck, Friedrich Tieck the sculptor, and this is
approved of still, by the majority of art critics. By rea-
son of the unmistakable likeness of the features, Tieck
saw in one of the youths, Antinous. The solemn spirit
that pervades the whole, the presence of the goddess of
death, the altar and the torches, the wreaths in the hair
of the youths, all this seemed to him to bear witness to
an act of sacrifice. And who the victim is, cannot be
doubted. It is Antinous, who is consecrated, and who
consecrates himself to death. The elder, towards whom
he leans, must be some one whom the sacrificial rite most
nearly concerns, some one who stood in that relation to
Antinous which the artist so feelingly expressed when he
laid the latter’s arm around his neck. This can be no
other than Hadrian ; that is to say, not the aging em-
peror, not the perishable in him, but the eternally young
and imperishable. It is his genius.
Friederichs, in his ’^
Batisteiyie ziir Gcschichte der
griechisch-romiscJien Plastik^’ adopts in all essential
points this view. Let us hear him.
In the interpretation, he says, the whole weight rests
upon this : whether we allow or do not allow the likeness
of Antinous, which certain careful observers have found
in the one youth. To us, that likeness seems unmistak-
able. The profile in this head is clearly not an ideal pro-
file, the distinctive mark of which is, that nose and fore-
head form an unbroken line. Here it forms an angle and
the same angle as in the Antinous heads. Besides, the

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