Roman Marble Torso of a Nude Male

SKU PF.5478

100 AD to 200 AD


28″ (71.1cm) high (not including stand)





Gallery Location



The human body is one of the oldest subject matters in the history of art. As soon as man began to manipulate and mold the natural environment into works of art, artists aspired to recreate and immortalize the human form. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, the body itself was not sufficient. Sculptor and painters sought to achieve an idealized set of proportions that emphasized symmetry and perfection that is not always prevalent in real life. While the quest for structured classical perfection influenced architects as well, the Parthenon being the supreme example, it is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in renderings of the human body. Sculptures of gods and goddesses were not mimetic representations of living figures decorated with a few divine attributes, but were instead subtle alterations of the human form in order to visualize and immortalize the divine presence. Thus, this sculpture of a male torso does not represent a living person; it represents the idealized perfection of beauty. Every muscle and curve has been defined. However, the classical perfection attained in this sculpture extends beyond the mere physique of the model to encompass and influence every detail of the piece, from his rigid stance to the actual proportions of the body. Gazing upon this masterpiece, we are not confronted with an ancient portrait of a man; we are looking at an artist’s individual interpretation of beauty itself as revealed by the human form. The divine perfection exists within us all, the artist had to carefully manipulate and alter the physical world of the body to achieve the physical representation of the divine. Today, the stunning beauty of this sculpture is overwhelming because of this fact. We are in the presence of an eternal beauty that has its foundations in the idea of the divine perfection and not in the reality of nature.

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