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309 in.

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SCULPTURE coo...oo ANTIQUE. -00ccccc. FLORENCE GALLERY.

A SON OF NIOBE.

Niobe, daughter of Tantalus and sister of Pelops, married' Amphion, king of Thebes, by whom she had seven sons and seven daughters. This remarkable fruitfulness rendered her so haughty that she scoffed at Latona who had only two children, Latona being indignant, and forgetting her former friendship towards Niobe, resolved on taking terrible vengeance. She had recourse to her children, Apollo and Diana, who united to slay with their shafts all the sons and daughters of Niobe , without it being possible for succour to be afforded them by their father, their mother, their nurses or their instructors.

This fable is certainly an allegory relating to a contagious disease that , probably, carried off in a few moments all Niobe's children, which was regarded as a punishment from heaven for some heinous sin.

The statue here given is that of one of Niobe's sons, and forms a part of the most considerable group known, since it was composed of the whole of that unfortunate family. Pliny, in speaking of these stalues, cannot affirm whether they are by Praxiteles or Scopas.

Height 5 feet 5 inches.

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