Bronze Portrait Plaques of Classical Gods – Set of 2
The two rectangular plaques are decorated with relief castings of classical gods. Each plaque features the profile portrait of a young man, with one modeled after the god Mercury and the other god remains unknown. The Mercury plaque depicts the god wearing a winged helmet and breastplate, which is cast with a bearded mask.
The technique of parcel-gilt involves the application of gold leaf or gold powder to only certain parts of the bronze surface, creating a decorative effect with both gold and bronze tones. This would have added to the visual impact of the plaques, highlighting important elements of the design.
The use of classical mythology in art and decoration has a long history, with ancient gods and heroes being popular subjects throughout the ages. The use of bronze and gilding for these plaques would have been a sign of wealth and status, and they may have been created as part of a larger decorative ensemble for a wealthy patron.