Child and Goose

Hellenistic

replica: from the Louvre, Paris

date of the original: middle 2nd century BC

provenance of the original: found in AD 1789 in Rome; transferred to the palais Braschi; now in the Louvre, Paris

description: Figure of a small chubby boy grasping a large goose around the neck. (Similar statues in the Museo Capitolino and the Vatican Museum.) Plaster replica; Roman marble copy of a bronze original. Height 94 cm, width 45 cm, depth 80 cm.

This little boy seems to be struggling with the huge bird rather than strangling it, as some scholars suggest. The work, dated from the beginning of the second century BC, is representative of the trends and tastes of Hellenistic society. The pudgy little boy’s babyish cuteness is studiously emphasized.

Many identical copies of him already existed in antiquity, which illustrates the type’s great popularity. This one is attributed to Boethus of Chalcedon.