Inv. Scu 231
Colossal statue of a deity identified as Demeter-Ceres on account of the pig’s hide, attribute of this goddess, which however is only rarely used in her iconography.
The disproportions of the statue, such as the excessive width of the shoulders and the rather small head, are not perceivable when the statue is looked at from the left.
In ancient times, this was the privileged point of view of the statue, which likely was part of a group including another figure, possibly Proserpina, standing on the left.
The identification with Demeter is supported by the iconographic comparison with a smaller statuette from a sanctuary of the goddess in Wadi Ben Gadir near Cyrene, which also has a pig’s hide draped over its torso and recalls the Capitoline sculpture in the general structure of the figure.
The Cyrenean statuette has been attributed, on a stylistic basis, to the Hellenistic period. The Capitoline sculpture on the other hand could date to the early Imperial period, on account of the complex rendering of the drapery and the classical look of the face, which finds precise comparisons in Augustan and early Julio-Claudian female portraiture, in particular the portraits of Livia.
The work was probably found in Rome. Originally displayed in the Theatre of the Belvedere, in 1566 the statue was moved to the Campidoglio along with other sculptures donated by the Pope Pius V.