Statue of Diana

Chance discovery at Saint-Georges-de-Montagne (Gironde) in 1843
Late 4th century – early 5th century A.D. White marble. Inv.: 71.16.1

Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt and personification of the moon (and twin sister of Apollo, who personified the sun) is represented in traditional style according to the Greek archetype of the goddess Artemis, of whom she is the equivalent: she is set against a tree symbolising the forest, a deer at her feet, bending a bow with her left arm and drawing an arrow with her right hand.

Despite the loss of some of these elements (in particular the arrow), the movement of this goddess is extremely well rendered: the movement is translated as usual – although perhaps in a slightly exaggerated manner – by the folds of her clothing and the stance of the figure, inclined, resting on her right leg, knee slightly bent, and left leg behind. Before her lies a fawn which lifts its head in an elegant movement accentuated by the soft shape of its body. The tree against which Diana is posed and the fawn are of openwork sculpture which prove the skill of the artist, who took great care in the composition of this work.

A statuette of the goddess Venus, found in the same assemblage of sculptures that adorned the gardens of the Roman villa, is now preserved in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Statue of Diana (c) mairie de Bordeaux