About this object

Statuette of a youthful male, semi nude and draped in a himation that covers his legs. He is seated on a rock. The statue is composed of four parts: the upper torso with the head which is unbroken, the lower torso with legs and drapery, the middle part of the rock and the plinth with both feet and the lower part of the rock. The upper and lower torso are ancient and seem to belong together as confirmed by the forward move of the body, typical for seated figures. The other two parts are modern restorations. The right arm was raised while the left was lowered. The youthful man has long hair arranged in a complicated hairstyle: a large bow is kept in place by a fillet above the forehead; loosely twisted locks are around the hairline, starting from the centrepart and descending to the nape of the neck; finally a pony tail, divided into three long loose twisted strands hangs below the shoulders. A long loose curly lock also falls on the front of either shoulder. Many variations of this type of seated Apollo survived with similar attributes, such as the draping of the himation and the position of the arms. Bartman believes that that the right arm was raised, probably playing the guitar or adjusting its strings. The style of the head is of the Julio Claudian period and therefore dates to the first half of the 1st century AD. Apollo was an important god in Augustian ideology, In the seated type he is seen as a protector of the Muses and was very popular for the decoration of private villas of the elite. The restorer included a lizard on the added plinth as he was inspired by Praxiteles's Apollo the Sauroktonos, a type that was well known in the 18th century through the celebrated bronze in the Villa Albani.
The left and foot and hand of the statue have been treated chemically making the surface very granular.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Art
  • Culture
    Roman
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st Century AD first half
  • Materials
    Marble
  • 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
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
  • Note
    Formerly Mattei collection.
    Compared with type known as the Villa Albani Apollo where the god is seated on a tripod throne, resting his feet on an omphalos. He is bare chested and draped in a large himation covering the lower body and holding a cithara in his lowered left hand. In this type the right arm was lowered. In this type of Apollo there would be a lion's head beneath the rock. Linfert suggested that this type of Apollo is associated with a statuary group of Apollo and Zeus from Patara attributed to Pheidias or Bryaxis. In other versions Apollo would be seated on a rock holding a cithara on the left arm and a plectrum in the right hand. In another version often in association with Marsyas in sarcophagi and reliefs, Apollo is also seated on a rock holding a cithara but the right hand would be raised and rested on the head in the style of Apollo Lykeios in the Ince collection 59.148.145.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); Ciriaco Mattei (Previous owner); Joseph William Col Sir Weld (Previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • A Catalogue of the Ancient Marbles at Ince Blundell Hall

    Ashmole, Bernard

    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.

    Blundell, Henry

    Author: Blundell, Henry
    Publisher:
    Date: 1803
    Description:

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Michaelis, A

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

  • Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae

    Author:
    Publisher: Artemis
    Date: 1981
    Description:

  • 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.

Ownership

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
  • Ciriaco Mattei

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1614
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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