Statue representing the mythological figure of the nymph Echo.
She is represented here, dressed in a draped dress revealing her chest, one hand to her ear, seeming to listen to her own voice, and leaning forward on her tiptoes. Finely sculpted vegetation is growing beside her feet.
In Ovid's Metamorphoses, the mountain nymph Echo, punished by Hera, wife of Zeus, no longer had the ability to speak, only to pick up the last words she heard. When she fell in love with the hunter Narcissus, she was unable to tell him and he pushed her away. The story also tells that Narcissus, after falling in love with his own reflection, fell into a pond from looking at himself too much and drowned. Echo, heartbroken, became mad and only her voice remained.
The sculpture bears the inscription on the front "ECO", and on the back "G.FONTANA.Sc.1892".
Giovanni Giuseppe FONTANA (1821-1893) was born in Carrara, Italy, where he studied before leaving for Paris in 1849. He settled in London where he exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1852 to 1886.
White marble from Carrara.
Height 96 cm - Base 35 x 31 cm