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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Belvedere Torso

The Belvedere Torso is famous, in part, because of Michelangelo’s admiration for it. It is also notable for being one of the few fragmentary ancient sculptures discovered at that time to have been left unrestored.

Much has been written on possible configurations of the missing limbs, and thus the figure’s identity; Herakles is the most popular candidate on account of the lion skin and his bulky physique

Number: 
398
Material: 
Marble
Location of Original: 

Rome, Vatican, Belvedere 3

Size: 
1.20m
Accession: 

Transferred from the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1884 (?)

References: 

Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 380 (n.6), pl. 134.1
Rhys Carpenter: Observations, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome XVIII (1941), 84-
Amelung: Catalogue of the Vatican Museum, 9, no.3, pl. 2
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 103, no.551
Haskell & Penny: Taste and the Antique (1981), 311-4
Bober & Rubinstein: Renaissance Artists and Antique Sculpture, 166-8, no.132
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 894, no.398 (?)

Date: 
C1 BCE
Sculptor: 
Apollonios son of Nestor of Athens
Inscription: 

Inscribed on the plinth (missing from cast): made by Apollonios, son of Nestor the Athenian

Provenance: 

Found in 1500 in the Palazzo Colonna in Rome, and set up in the Belvedere Garden by Pope Clement II

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Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge

Every cast tells two stories.
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