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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

Location of Original: 

Florence, Uffizi 549


Transferred from the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1884


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

Roman. Original: early C2 BCE

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

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