By genre sculpture is meant sculpture which deals with incidents or situations illustrative of every-day life. The conditions of the great age, although they permitted a genre-like treatment in votive sculptures and in grave-reliefs, offered few or no occasions for works of pure genre, whose sole purpose is to gratify the spectator. In the Hellenistic period, however, such works became plentiful. Fig. 178 gives a good specimen.
A boy of four or five is struggling in play with a goose and is triumphant. The composition of the group is admirable, and the zest of the sport is delightfully brought out. Observe too that the characteristic forms of infancy – the large head, short legs, plump body and limbs – are truthfully rendered. There is a large number of representations in ancient sculpture of boys with geese or other aquatic birds; among them are at least three other copies of this, same group. The original is thought to have been of bronze. (...)
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