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SCULPTURE. 000026600000000 ANTIQUE. 0000000000 FRENCH MUSEUM.
A FUNEREAL GENIUS.
Although Homer, Hesiod, and Euripides have spoken of Death as of a terrible Power, Lessing, in A Dissertation on the manner the ancients represented Death, pretends rightly, that the grecian artists did not, like ours, represent it under the hideous likeness of a skeleton. They gave it some resemblance with its twin brother, Sleep; and, to indicate absolute repose, these two figures were placed with their legs crossed and their arms raised over their heads.
The attitude of this statue can leave no doubt as to the object it represents : although it is restored and matched, all the parts are antique, which makes it very remarkable. It formed part of the Cardinal Mazarine's collection, and came by inheritance to the Duke de la Mailleraye, his niece's husband, who, with the idea of satisfying some religious feelings, caused several monuments of art, gathered with so much care by the Cardinal, to be be broken and mutilated.
This statue had remained in the Mazarine Palace, even after it became the India Company's Hotel, and subsequently the Paris Exchange. When the Museum was formed in 1794, it was tranferred thither, with other antiques spread in various public buildings.
This statue has been engraved by M. Avril Jun'.