The Borgese Warrior

WAG 5087


A side view drawing of the famous classical sculpture the Borghese Warrior, thought to be initially a work of the 4th century BCE ancient sculptor Lysippos. The ancient statue of a warrior of the 1st Century BCE, which is now in the Louvre, was until the late eighteenth century one of the masterpieces of the Borghese collection in Rome. It had been rediscovered sometime before 1611 near the town of Anzio south of Rome in the ruins of Emperor Nero's seaside palace. The statue was added to the art collection of the Villa Borghese in Rome, owned by Pope Paul V's nephew Cardinal Scipione Borghese (1577-1633), where it was housed in its own room on the ground floor, which was redecorated in the 1780s. After its discovery it soon became, via reproductive copies, among the most admired antique sculptures in 17th and 18th-century Britain. This is one of the artworks presented by the Liverpool Royal Institution. Liverpool’s economic development grew directly from Britain’s involvement with transatlantic slavery: the kidnapping, enslavement and forced migration of people from West Africa to the Americas and many to the Caribbean. Many members of the Royal Institution made their fortunes directly through the trade or indirectly through the wider economy. This wealth was largely how they were able to bring rare art and treasures, such as this, to the city.