Torso of a youth (Roman copy of Polykleitos' bronze original of about 440–430 B.C.)

height: 76.4 cm
early 2nd century A.D.
Kreikenbom 1990, 171, no. III 32; Berger–Müller-Huber–Thommen 1992, 154–155, no. 32 G; Szilágyi, J. Gy., Antik Gyűjtemény, 52, fig. 31; Szilágyi, J. Gy., Ancient Art, 58, fig. 31

The torso recalls the works of Polykleitos, one of the greatest masters of Classical Greek sculpture. Polykleitos was active in the 5th century BC, but his influence was still strong in late antique sculpture. This composition resembles his most famous work, the Doryphoros (‘spear-bearer’), but it is not an exact copy. The statue captures a gesture that ripples through the entire body: the left and right shoulder, the muscles of the chest, the hip, and the waist are not aligned, but create an S-shaped curve. The right neck muscle is strained, so the youth must originally have looked in the other direction. The proportions of the statue emphasise the strength of the depicted god or hero.

Marble analyses conducted by Danielle Decrouez (Geneva, Museum of Natural History) and Karl Ramseyer (University of Bern, Institute of Geological Sciences) have shown that the torso was made of Afyon marble. Click here for the detailed results.