Architectural & Vintage

18th Century Istrian Stone Bust of Janus

A mid 18th century or earlier Italian Bust of Janus in Istrian Stone.

In ancient Roman religion and myth Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, frames, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus, but according to ancient Roman farmers’ almanacs Juno was the tutelary deity of the month.
Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace. The gates of a building in Rome named after him (not a temple, as it is often called, but an open enclosure with gates at each end) were opened in time of war, and closed to mark the arrival of peace. As a god of transitions, he had functions pertaining to birth and to journeys and exchange, and in his association with Portunus, a similar harbor and gateway god, he was concerned with travelling, trading and shipping.
Janus had no flamen or specialised priest (sacerdos) assigned to him, but the King of the Sacred Rites (rex sacrorum) himself carried out his ceremonies. Janus had a ubiquitous presence in religious ceremonies throughout the year. As such, Janus was ritually invoked at the beginning of each ceremony, regardless of the main deity honored on any particular occasion

Price

£6,500

Reference number

15985

Origin

Italy Circa 1740

Measurements

Height: 64cm (25.2 inches)
Width: 29cm (11.4 inches)
Depth: 27cm (10.6 inches)

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