Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 November 2022
Approaching the bronze statue of a naked male figure from the left, a beholder encounters the uncanny sight of an eye looking out from a socket cast into its head (Figure 104). Anatomical parts of the eye have been pieced together from polychrome materials: white bone for the white, a pink vitreous paste for the tear duct at the inner corner, a ring of black surrounding a thicker brown ring for the iris, and at the center a void where a pupil would once have been inlaid.1 Only the tear duct alters the symmetry of these concentric circles, decreasing in diameter to the pupil point – white, black, brown, black again – like a target. A sheet of bronze enfolds the back of the eye to hold its parts together; at the front, this bronze sheeting has been sliced into lashes that curl away from the eye and frame it.2 The eye does not move or contract as a beholder approaches; however, brilliance, hues, and variegation form and animate it.
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