Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Hypnos



There are many reasons to love this piece, but for me I think it’s because it’s a copy of an original, rather than the original itself. This is a bronze head of Hypnos (the personification of Sleep) and is a Roman copy of a Greek original (like so much!). The original is thought to have dated to the period from 325-275 BC and this copy was made sometime between 350-200 BC. We always seem to view copies as inferior products to the original, lacking in imagination, skill, and artistic ability, but this is superb! There is so much life and emotion in theses features that I (at least) frequently see the face in almost exclusively human terms, ignoring the large wing sticking out the side of her head! Although the eyes would have looked very different in antiquity, the way that the shadows now play on their depths never fails to captivate me, offsetting that almost sneering, but eternally alluring mouth ... all of it together telling you that it's late and time for bed ... but when you get there, no matter what else you had in mind, all that's on offer is sleep!