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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Arrotino

A slave or barbarian whetting his knife. Probably a Roman copy.

Group sculpture was popular in Hellenistic times, and the Arrotino was part of a group encapsulating all the drama beloved of Hellenistic sculptors — the flaying of Marsyas.

According to the myth, Marsyas was to be punished by being skinned alive. A barbarian slave was to perform the gruesome act, and here he crouches, sharpening his blade with an ominous mixture of concentration and curiosity on his face, his posture apprehensive yet purposeful

Number: 
381
Material: 
Marble
Location of Original: 

Florence, Uffizi 549

Size: 
1.06m
Accession: 

Transferred from the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1884

References: 

Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 321 (n.15), pl. 112.3
Lawrence, Later Greek Sculpture (1927), 18, pl. 30a; cf. pl. 39 (for Marsyas)
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 98, no.529
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 894, no.471
Pollitt: Art in the Hellenistic Age, 119, pl. 121

Date: 
Roman. Original: early C2 BCE
Provenance: 

Found in Rome in c.1534-8. Later in the Villa Medici, Rome

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