Description In Greek and Roman myth, nymphs were female spirits of nature. Resting on an urn from which water flows and holding flowers, this muscular river nymph reclines in a pose made famous by the Roman marble river gods, personifications of Rome's own Tiber River and the Nile, which visitors to Rome admired on the Capitoline Hill. This particular nymph can be identified as Arethusa since she forms a pair with a parallel figure of the male river god Alpheus in a private collection. Their story is told by the Roman poet Ovid in his Metamorphoses (V, 572-641). The sculpture has now been identified as a relatively early work of the Venetian sculptor Francesco Bertos. His set of bronze allegories of the Four Continents in the Walters (54.657-54.660), characterized by slender, elongated figures that almost float in the air, is representative of his better-known, later style.
- World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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