Marble Figure of Apollo

SKU DC.4300
Status

SOLD

Circa

1st Century AD

Dimensions

20″ (50.8cm) high

Medium

Marble

Origin

Mediterranean

Gallery Location

UK


 

This utter masterpiece embodies everything phenomenal about Greek sculpture. Apollo’s torso is portrayed in the Praxitelian S-shaped contraposto, wearing a baldric slung over his right shoulder, the strap with a circular hole at the back for attachment of the now missing separately-carved quiver, the ends of a fillet filling falling over the shoulders in the back. The supple musculature throughout the piece represents an infinitely fine understanding of anatomy and appreciation for the grace of movement. His meticulously defined legs taper over the quadriceps, and flow seamlessly into the hip giving him a firm and delicate composure. His hip slightly offset over his left leg impeccably outturned to give him a sense of feminine refinement, rise to meet his abdomen. The faintest strength defines the bottom of his stomach, outlining it on top of the hips, and appears coiled beneath his sinuous rib-cage. His boyish pectorals offset the masculinity of his abdomen- and they flow quite naturally into the wiry arms, their thin muscles strained in permanent akimbo. We see, in this statue of the god- what Polykleitos believed to be the most beautiful form describable. A youth- on the brink of manhood, retaining the smoothness and innocent, elegant lines of his teenaged years while the first permeations of muscle, of sharpness, of gravity begin to occupy the canvas of his body. It is not an androgynous form by any means, for androgynous implies a dilution and lack of both masculine and feminine. Rather this sculpture embodies and exonerates the virtues of both masculine sharpness and feminine grace. There is a reason that over 2,500 years since the cessation of the Greco-roman existence, it continues to dominate our study, invigorate our minds, and inspire our artistic hearts. For a brief span of a few hundred years, the human body- in all of its wonderful complexity, dimension, and beauty was brought to life by human hands. This Apollo stands not as a testament to the beauty of the God’s so much as it does as a testament of the beauty of man. In but a torso we can find all of the expressiveness and all of the emotional energy of a human being. In the possession of this piece, one possesses the result of Man’s greatest ability to craft, to reason, and to resonate with the emotionality of the human form. It is exquisite, it is unparalleled, and it is one of the finest heirlooms in the legacy of Mankind.

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