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Deep Relief of Antinous Silvanus

The art-loving Roman Emperor Hadrian created a number of images of his beloved young man Antinous, and like all the others, this one is characterised by the soft smooth flesh but rather melancholy expression.

Largely thanks to the lavish praise of the art historian Winckelmann, it very rapidly become one of the most celebrated of Roman sculptures; plaster casts of it were easily available too, which helped spread its fame further.

Antinous died in 130 CE and Hadrian in 138, so the likely date of the relief is between the two

Location of Original: 

Rome, Villa Albani 818 (?)

1.12 x 1.03m

Purchased from Malpieri of Rome in 1884


Strong: La Scultura Romana, pl. XLII
Helbig: Führer durch die Öffentlichen Sammlungen Klassischer Altertümer in Rom (2nd edition) 36, no.818
Brunn-Bruckmann: Denkmäler Griechischer und Römischer Skulptur, no.368
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 894, no.506
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 109, no.571

130-138 CE

Found in Hadrian’s Villa outside Rome around 1750

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