Surprise! Satyr and Hermaphrodite


Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

A satyr and hermaphrodite are entangled in an erotic scuffle. In an aroused state (reworked in the 18th century), the satyr had approached the seated hermaphrodite frontally (cf. ill. p. 285). The latter has now responded to the attack and, in turn, holds the satyr in a leg grip, pulling his upper body towards her. The satyr is fighting back, pushing himself away from the hermaphrodite’s body with one arm and trying to wriggle out of the grip. With his other hand he aimed to undo the hermaphrodite’s grasp on his right shoulder. The reason for this violent reaction of the satyr against the original object of his desire constitutes the erotic appeal of the group. For nothing is what it seemed to be. The feminine shapes of the hermaphrodite belie her other, male sexuality. Her cloak, which had slipped off her lap when the satyr attacked, reveals not just to the repelled satyr, but to the viewer as well, the hermaphrodite’s true nature. Added objects, the setting on top of a rock and the animals underscore the dionysian-bucolic atmosphere. The hermaphrodite’s head, though antique, does not belong to the figure.

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  • Title: Surprise! Satyr and Hermaphrodite
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 100/200
  • Location: From Rome, Villa Aldobrandini (1826)
  • Physical Dimensions: h123 cm
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Medium: Marble
  • Inv.-No.: Sk 195
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-814319
  • External link: Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Dagmar Grassinger || Photo: © b p k - || Photo Agency / Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Johannes Laurentius
  • Collection: Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz


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