User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Fountain basin with a reclining river god

Start collecting

Lustral double basin with a bearded river god (the Nile) with wreathed hair swept back in a bun, nude apart from a cloak draped over his legs, holding a cornucopia in his left hand, a scroll (?) in his right. The god's left elbow reclines against a female sphinx (head missing), and his right...

Show Full Description


Known since the late 17th century and published in 1724 with a drawing by M. Fritsch in B. De Montfaucon, L'antiquité expliquée et illustrée en figures, Vol. Suppl. III, pl. 63; by about 1802: Collection of 4th Earl of Darnley, Cobham Hall, Kent, England (probably brought from Italy); photographed at Cobham Hall by Cornelius Vermeule in 1954; by late 1950s or 1960s: with Spink & Son, 5, 6 & 7 King Street, St. James's, London; by date unknown: possibly in the Binney Collection, Kent?, England; by date unknown: private collection, Richmond, Surrey, England; by November 2001: with Christie's South Kensington, 85 Old Brompton Road, London, SW7 3LD, England; November 7, 2001: purchased by MFA at Christie's auction 9244 (Nov. 7, 2001, lot 332); accessioned: February 27, 2002

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds by exchange from a Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry P. Kidder, a Gift of Thomas Gold Appleton, a Gift of Edward Jackson Holmes, a Gift of Mrs. Francis C. Lowell, Otis Norcross Fund, and a Gift of Edward Perry Warren

Roman, Imperial Period, A.D. 98–138

Place of Manufacture


Catalogue Raisonné

Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 136.


Overall: 66 x 88 x 74 cm, 408.2 kg (26 x 34 5/8 x 29 1/8 in., 900 lb.) Framed (Steel tube palette /four gusset angles for lifting): 7.8 x 90.5 x 74.3 cm (3 1/16 x 35 5/8 x 29 1/4 in.) Block (Rolling wooden pedestal includes steel palette): 91.4 x 102.2 x 142.2 cm (36 x 40 1/4 x 56 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble from Carrara, Italy


The Ancient World