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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Boy with Goose

Sculptures featuring children, animals and playful subject matter were popular in Hellenistic times, and this group features all those elements. The sculpture has boy and bird pulling in opposite directions, but both with feet apart, forming a solid base for the pyramid-shaped composition. Several similar sculptures have been found in Rome, suggesting a famous prototype.

The Roman writer Pliny mentions a sculptor called Boethos who made a group of a boy and goose. However, as there was more than one sculptor of that name, and the chronology does not tally, it is doubtful that the prototype of this piece can be linked to that artist. The heads of the child and goose are both modern restorations

Location of Original: 

Paris, Louvre 40


Purchased in 1884 from the Louvre. (Head only): Purchased from Dresden in 1970


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 329 (n.3)
cf. Lippold: pl. 117.2 (replica in Munich, 268)
Bulle: Der Schöne Mensch im Altertum (1922), pl. 190
cf. Pliny: Natural History XXXIV.84
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 110, no.576
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 894, no.521
Bieber: Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age (1981), 81
Ridgway: Hellenistic Sculpture I (1990), 232
Ridgway: Hellenistic Sculpture II (2000), 252
Pollitt: Art in the Hellenistic Age (1986), 128

Roman. Original: C3 BCE
Of original: Boethos (?)

Found on the Appian Way in 1789

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