Ajax (Aiant)
Ferran, August [Mallorca, 1813 - l'Havana, 1879]
Technique: Plaster
Dimensions: 172 x 80 x 65 cm
Date: 1838
Generic classification: Sculpture
General inventari: 326 E
Location: Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi
Notes:
Inscription: “Augusto Ferran 1838”, at the central front; “69333”, painted in red on the back left –hand side. This is one of the few sculptures of that period which the Academy preserves that is signed and dated. However, it has been impossible to discover any documentary evidence in the Archives about it. Among the works the Consell Provincial d’Agricultura, Indústria i Comerç (Provincial Board of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce) loaned to the local museums in 1904, there was a plaster statue by Ferran, Patroclus, which certainly corresponded to this one. It also made up the works that the Academy loaned to the art museum in 1906, from where it was returned on March 24th, 1980. The red number that appears in the plaster of the Academy probably indicates that it was one of the museum’s works which were numbered during the Civil War. Thus, the number of these pieces does not correspond to the institution’s inventory. As for the confusion regarding the iconographic attribution ( Patroclus for Ajax), both themes were frequently mistaken. Ajax of Locri , son of Oileus, King of the Locrias of Opus, was a hero of the Trojan War. The goddess Athena wrecked Ajax’s ships to destroy him for having broken into her temple carrying the priestess Cassandra away with him by force. The statue depicts the moment in which Ajax boasts from the top of a rock that he has survived to the goddess’ wrath immediately before Neptune (Posedion) drowns him with his trident.
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