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203

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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ANTIQUE STATUES. 203
Botticher’s interpretation is so winning, that one
would gladly accept it, did not certain doubts, hard to be
removed, place themselves in the way. Were it correct,
the attention of both the youths would of necessity be
wholly taken up by the sacred action of the promise, and
their eyes fastened upon the altar or upon the torch
that, according to Botticher’s conception, the one is
offering the other. But exactly the opposite is the case.
Neither of them gives heed to these objects. The faces
of both are turned aside, somewhat : both seem to be
sunken in the contemplation of an unknown something,
that appears before them in an abyss at their feet. And
how translate the melancholy in the features of the one,
the sorrowfully devoted and resigned expression in those
of the other? What have these feelings to do with a
pact of loyalty?
That one of the youths who is Antinous, seems, too,
to represent something else. Almost everywhere, An-
tinous meets us as a twofold being : as historical char-
acter and mythical personage. In the other works, this
duality in unity is held to in a more superficial manner:
the faithfulness, namely, of the features and of the forma-
tion of body is preserved, and the mythical nature is ex-
pressed by those attributes that mark a certain hero or
god. Here, however, the artist has fused two types, or
to speak more accurately, has made them change one into
the other. In profile or half-profile the face of the youth
has so striking a likeness to that of Antinous, that any
doubt of the intention in this, cannot be entertained, al-
though the under lip has not the accustomed fullness, and
the fresh rounding of the cheek is wanting. But seen
from the front, the features are merged in another type.
To this may be added, that we do not find the peculiar

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