Tiber Apollo

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The Tiber Apollo 0 Apollon du Tibre - Pal. Massimo alle Terme (1).JPG
The Tiber Apollo

The Tiber Apollo is an over lifesize [1] marble sculpture of Apollo, a Hadrianic or Antonine Roman marble copy after a bronze Greek original of about 450 BCE. [2] Dredged from the bed of the Tiber in Rome, in making piers for the Ponte Garibaldi (1885, bridge completed 1888), it is conserved in the Museo Nazionale Romano in Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome. [3] The style of the sculpture reflects the school of Phidias, perhaps the young Phidias himself, as Jiří Frel suggested, [4] and Kenneth Clark observed of it, "If only this figure, instead of the Apollo Belvedere , had been known to Winckelmann, his insight and beautiful gift of literary re-creation would have been better supported by the sculptural qualities of his subject." [5] Of this marble Brian A. Sparkes reminds us that "the general effect of copies always tends towards sweetness, and so it is here." [6]

Apollo God in Greek mythology

Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Seen as the most beautiful god and the ideal of the kouros, Apollo is considered to be the most Greek of all gods. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.

Hadrian 2nd-century Roman Emperor

Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus in Italica, near Santiponce, Spain into a Hispano-Roman family. His father was of senatorial rank and was a first cousin of Emperor Trajan. He married Trajan's grand-niece Vibia Sabina early in his career, before Trajan became emperor and possibly at the behest of Trajan's wife Pompeia Plotina. Plotina and Trajan's close friend and adviser Lucius Licinius Sura were well disposed towards Hadrian. When Trajan died, his widow claimed that he had nominated Hadrian as emperor immediately before his death.

Antoninus Pius 2nd-century Roman Emperor

Antoninus Pius, also known as Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. He was one of the Five Good Emperors in the Nerva–Antonine dynasty and the Aurelii.

The figure, with his girlish curls, [7] may once have held the laurel branch and bow, as he is not a citharoedus . The pensive reserve of such Apollos provided the iconographical type for Hadrianic portrait heads of Antinous in the following century. [8]

Antinous Greek favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian

Antinous was a Bithynian Greek youth and a favourite or beloved of the Roman emperor Hadrian. He was deified after his death, being worshiped in both the Greek East and Latin West, sometimes as a god (theos) and sometimes merely as a hero (heros).

Another version of the same type was recovered among the ruins of Cherchel, Algeria, the Roman Caesarea Mauretaniae. [9]

A copy was formerly in the Villa Borghese gardens. [10]

Villa Borghese Wikipedia disambiguation page

Villa Borghese may refer to:


  1. 222 cm (7 ft. 3 ¼ in.).
  2. Brunilde Sismondo Ridgeway (Fifth Century Styles in Greek Sculpture, 1981) suggested that its original, along with many other famous and established models generally dated in the 5th century BCE, should be attributed to a Late Hellenistic classicizing cultural phase of the first centuries BCE/CE;similarly E. Simon ( LIMC 2 1984, s.v. "Apollon/Apollo", 373f no. 38) called it an Antonine copy of a classicising Augustan original.
  3. Inv. 608; its rusty staining are the result of its long immersion.
  4. Frel, "A Hermes by Kalamis and Some Other Sculptures" The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, 1 (1974:55-60) p. 57, and again in a review of Ridgeway, The Severe Style in Greek Sculpture in The Art Bulletin56.2, (June 1974:274).
  5. Clark, The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form, 1956, p.74, illus. p. 75, fig.30.
  6. Sparkes, "Greek Bronzes" Greece & Rome, Second Series, 34.2 (October 1987:152-168) p 167, illus. fig. 9 p, 166.
  7. Susan E. Wood. Imperial Women: A Study in Public Images, 40 BC - AD 68 (1999, rev. ed. 2001:225: "The arrangement of hair drawn back over the ears and long shoulder locks appears in statues of both male and female deities, including Apollo"; note 69: Tiber Apollo and other examples.
  8. Thorsten Opper, Hadrian: Empire and Conflict (2008) makes this point with an illustration of the Tiber Apollo, fig. 162, p. 185 paired with an Antinous.
  9. LIMC ii. 373 no. 38, s.v. "Apollo"; Christa Landwehr, Die Römische Skulpturen von Caesarea Mauretaniae, vol. II (Idealplastik).
  10. Illustrated from an old photograph and captioned "lost" by Frel 1974:59, fig. 7.

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