Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Antinous Mandragone

Unknown Artist - Antinous MandragoneI previewed Hadrian: Empire and Conflict last Friday (CLICK). It opens at the British Museum in London tomorrow, and Brenda Emmanus did a piece on it for BBC London News. While Brenda was beguiling the camera, I noticed this superb head in the background. It's from the Louvre in Paris and is one of the major works of art borrowed for the exhibition. What a doll, you might think. Well ... er ... here's what Brenda couldn't tell you before the watershed: this head is of Antinous Mandragone, Emperor Hadrian's boyfriend. Renowned for his beauty, Antinous was deified - proclaimed a god - after he drowned himself in the Nile in 130 AD.


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