Roman Marble Relief: Nereid and Hippocamp
An ancient Roman marble relief fragment depicting a Nereid with drapery around her lower body and a bikini top, riding on the back of a Hippocamp, with the torso of a nude man and the front legs of a horse with small wings at the hip, an Eros swims in the waves below with a dolphin behind him.
Ca. 1st century AD.
Nereids were the 50 sea nymph daughters of Nereus who himself was the son of Gaia (the Earth) and her son, Pontus (the Sea). Nereids were particularly associated with the Aegean Sea. The most notable of them are Thetis, wife of Peleus and mother of Achilles and Amphitrite, wife of Poseidon and mother of Triton. As part of the retinue of Poseidon, along with Hippocamps, they symbolized everything good and bountiful in the sea. They were represented as beautiful girls who frolicked in the waves.
Formerly the collection of Charlton Heston (1923 - 2008), Los Angeles, California, acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Heston in the late 1950s or early 1960s while filming on location in Rome.