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Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion
Culture Group:ItalianTitle:Bifrons Relief of Janus Date:c. 1240 Medium:Alabaster Culture: Italian Dimensions:17 x 20 x 9 1/2 in. (43.2 x 50.8 x 24.1 cm) Credit Line:The Brummer Collection Accession number:1966.51.1 Label Copy: Janus was the Roman god of beginnings and endings. Ovid and other Latin authors described Janus as bifrons or two-faced, and his likeness was often used on gates and thresholds in ancient Rome. This relief presents the two heads of Janus and was probably part of the entranceway into the southern Italian city of Capua. One face watched the entrance and the other watched the exit. This work is a rare example of the classical style and high quality of carving characteristic of the workshops of the court of Emperor Frederick II between 1220 and 1250. Provenance: Purchased September 14, 1931 through (Brimo de Laroussilhe, Paris) by Ernest [1890-1964] or Joseph [1883-1947] Brummer; by inheritance to Ernest Brummer's wife, Ella Brummer; purchased 1966 by Duke University Museum of Art, now Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.


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