Statue of Asclepius



Statue of Asclepius, identified as Asclepius because of the entwined snake on the baton. Both the head and the body are ancient but from different statues. The body reproduces the Campana type of Asclepius represented in the eponymous statue, currently in the Hermitage: the god stands frontally, his weight is on the right leg while his left leg is bent at the knee and turns out at the foot. His right hand was probably originally rested on the baton, the gesture of his left hand is unclear but was not probably rested on the his hip. It is also unclear what the original orientation of the head may have been. The god wears a mantle with his chest and right arm bare. The mantle crosses the torso and swings over the back; it hangs down over the left shoulder. The triangular apron that ends between the legs rather than enveloping them deviates from the Campana type. The folds terminate abruptly at the edge, according to Bartman perhaps becauseof the work of an over zealous restorer. The ancient head has a paternal calm expression suggesting he may have been Zeus or Neptune or Asclepius. The hair is drilled in locks and rises up at the front while ending in long waves at the back. The beard has also been drilled in a similar way to the hair. The brow is projecting. The cult of Asclepius developed in the late 5th century BC but gained extreme popularity during Roman times. The large scale of this statue suggests that it may had been intended and displayed in a public location, a sanctuary or a gymnasium or a bath are possible.