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Source Image: PR304_02_09 of Bull Console of Aphrodisias: Hadrianic Baths

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Description

Close-up of the colossal console depicting the minotaur from the Hadrianic Baths.

Monument
Aphrodisias: Hadrianic Baths 
Monument Part
Bull Console 
Monument Type
Architecture 
Material(s)
Aphrodisian marble (Visual identification)  
Date
circa ad 117 - circa ad 138 
Keywords
MouldingConsole  
Collections
Aphrodisias, Site and Museum  

Location

Original Location
Aphrodisias 

Evidence for working practices

1. Toolmarks

Process
Squaring
Tool
Point
Method
Angle: Vertical (90°)
Force: Hard
Description
The rear portion of this console, which would originally have been inserted into a wall, was left roughly worked with the point chisel. A patch of this initial squaring is visible on the right.

2. Toolmarks

Process
Roughing-out
Tool
Point
Method
Angle: Steep (60-70°)
Force: Medium
Description
Following squaring the panel appears to have been roughed-out with a projecting boss in the middle of it. Marks of the point chisel are visible on the edges of this original boss which is in the process of being carved away.

3. Toolmarks

Process
Fine shaping
Tool
Tooth Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Medium
Description
The frame around the panel is carved with a tooth chisel, apparently before any work on the decoration in the middle of the panel began.

4. Toolmarks

Process
Flattening
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Medium
Description
Before work began on the S-shaped motif the surface of the roughed-out boss was flattened off to provide a smooth surface for the incising of guidelines.

5. Guideline

Process
Laying-out
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Gentle
Description
Using the corner of a flat chisel the carver incised the shape of the central motif onto the flat surface of the central boss. The vestiges of this line are visible to the right of the motif.

6. Toolmarks

Process
Fine shaping
Tool
Roundel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Gentle
Description
The inner surfaces of the S-shaped motif are carved with a slightly round-headed chisel, obviously before any work began on defining the exterior of this form.

7. Toolmarks

Process
Detailing
Tool
Drill
Method
Vertical (90°)
Description
The floral detail on the top of the lower volute of the S-shaped motif is worked partially with the drill to achieve depth around it.

Notes

This unfinished panel shows how the carver planned out this complex decorative motif. Following initial roughing-out the border of the panel was carved, then the rough boss in the centre of the panel was flattened and the design for the central S-shaped motif laid out. The carver then worked on the inside of the S-shaped motif and the decorative floral detail on the lower left before any work was done on the exterior of this form or carving back the background of the panel. Interestingly, despite apparently sketching the design on to the boss before beginning, the carver seems to have misjudged the shape slightly so that the lower volute is crammed into the available space and is too close to the lower border of the panel.

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