About this object

Statue of Zeus, believed by Henry Blundell to have originated from Emperor Hadrian's villa at Tivoli. The certain provenance of the statue around 1790 was the Villa d'Este. The statue was much restored on 15th June 1572, including the 2 tree-trunk and eagle. The head is unbroken from the body. The god stands in a chiastic pose, the right leg straight supports the body, the left leg bent and extends to the back of the body. The right arm is to the side, holding a spear or a shaft, the left one is raised and was probably holding an attribute such as a lightening rod. The god appears to be in a halted motion, a feature in the works of many Roman sculptors. The muscles of the upper body can be seen to evoke the Doryphoros type by the Greek sculptor Polykleitos.

The pedestal of this statue once had a series of reliefs and inscriptions inserted into the back (59.148.398, 59.148.1022, 59.148.1023, Ince 538c).

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st-2nd century AD
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    2270 mm x 1370 mm x 780 mm
  • Note
    Bartman compared the statue compared to the Jupiter with Aegis from Cyrene although the Ince one is slightly slender. Several of the locks above the centre of the forehead rise vertically giving the statue a certain casualness that some scholars have associated with post Alexander the Great portraits. Other scholars associated the statue with that of Zeus the Brontaios by the 4th century sculptor Leochares, brought to Rome as a spoil and mentioned by Pliny. Comparison with only Augustan denarri of this known statue cannot lead to any definite conclusions.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Ippolito d'Este ( Previous owner); Joseph William Col Sir Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • A Catalogue of the Ancient Marbles at Ince Blundell Hall

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    Author: Ashmole, Bernard
    Publisher: Clarendon Press
    Date: 1929
    Description: An illustrated catalogue of the ancient sculptures collected by Henry Blundell and formerly at Ince Blundell Hall.

  • An Account of the Statues, Busts, Bass Relieves, Cinerary Urns, and other ancient marbles, and paintings at Ince. Collected by H.B.

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    Date: 1803

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

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    Author: Michaelis, A
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Date: 1882

  • Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae

    Publisher: Artemis
    Date: 1981

  • Notes on a New Edition of Michaelis: Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Vermeule, C; von Bothmer, D

    Author: Vermeule, C; von Bothmer, D
    Date: 1959-04

  • The Ince Blundell collection of classical sculpture Volume III-The ideal sculpture

    Bartman, Elizabeth

    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2017
    Description: This book investigates the important antiquities collection formed by Henry Blundell of Ince Blundell Hall, near Liverpool, in the late eighteenth century. Consisting of more than 500 ancient marbles - the UK's largest collection of Roman sculptures after that of the British Museum - the collection was assembled primarily in Italy during Blundell's various 'Grant Tour' visits. As ancient statues were the preeminent souvenir of the Grand Tour, Blundell has strong competition from other collectors, British nobility and European aristocrats, monarchs, and the Pope. His statues represent a typical cross section of sculptures that would have decorated ancient Roman houses, villas, public spaces and even tombs, although their precise origins are largely unknown. Most are likely to have come from Rome and at least one was found at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.


Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
  • Ippolito d'Este

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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