211 x 64 x 54 cm
early 20th century
The man draped in a single mantle is Asclepius, the healing god. The hand of a female figure rests on his left shoulder; probably his daughter, Hygieia, stood beside him. The irregular fracture at the neck indicates that the head had broken off (perhaps already in ancient times), but was later put back in place. The plant in the left hand of the god also attests to later reworking: it is a willow gentian (gentiana asclepiadea), a herb known only since the Middle Ages (missing from the plaster cast). Renaissance restorers deemed this attribute befitting the deity. Based on the gesture of the right hand Asclepius is teaching people about the benefits of the plant.