Roman Empire (27 B.C.E.-476 C.E.)
Standing Male Statue
2nd quarter of 2nd c. C.E. (after a Greek original, possibly school of Polykleitos about 370 B.C.E.)
136 x 56 x 35.5 cm
Purchase, the Museum Campaign 1988-1993 Fund, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' Volunteer Association Fund and anonymous gift, inv. 2003.44.1-5
Archeology and World Cultures
This piece was originally thought to be the fifth example of the type formerly known as the Centecello Adonis, recently identified rather as an Apollo and named after the Chigi Palace collection. The identification with Apollo might be justified by the small portion of the lower curve of a bow standing out against the tree trunk, although not all ancient male statues are necessarily an Apollo. Close examination reveals that the piece is derived rather from the Doryphoros of Polykleitos, the great Greek sculptor of the High Classical Period. When this sculpture was carved, it was quite normal to affix a portrait head to a generic body. Whose was the missing head here? It was probably an important figure, due to the marble’s high quality, coming from the island of Paros – one of the most sought after and most expensive marbles in antiquity – and the striking quality of the carving itself.