Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bronze torso of a youth

Archaic or Classical
1st half of the 5th century B.C.
H. 29 3/4 in. (75.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1920
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 156
Roman overcast of a Greek bronze statue of the early 5th century B.C.

In antiquity most large freestanding statues were made of bronze rather than marble. Hundreds honoring victorious athletes, poets, or generals stood in the great sanctuaries, as well as in civic centers. The majority of these works are lost–melted down at some point in order to reuse the metal. We know something of their appearance because the Romans admired many of the well-known statues and had them copied in marble, sometimes in bronze. This torso appears to be a bronze replica of a Greek bronze statue dating from the early fifth century B.C. During that period, sculptors were beginning to substitute a more relaxed naturalistic stance for the rigid pose that had been used for a hundred and fifty years to represent a youth. The fact that the left hip seems slightly higher than the right suggests that this figure may have been posed with most of its weight on the left leg and the right knee slightly bent.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 242-43, fig. 167, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 242-43, fig. 167, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 66, 207, pl. 47b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. p. 195, Cambridge, England.

Mattusch, Carol. 1996. The Fire of Hephaistos: Large Classical Bronzes from North American Collections no. 7, pp. 198-201, Cambridge, Mass: Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard Art Museums.

Mattusch, Carol. 1996. Classical Bronzes: The Art and Craft of Greek and Roman Statuary. pp. 202-6, 229, figs. 6.3a-c, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Related Objects

Bronze footbath with its stand

Date: late 5th–early 4th century B.C. Medium: Bronze Accession: 38.11.5a, b On view in:Gallery 158

Bronze helmet of South Italian-Corinthian type

Date: mid-4th–mid-3rd century B.C. Medium: bronze Accession: 2003.407.5 On view in:Gallery 161

Bronze statuette of a horse

Date: late 2nd–1st century B.C. Medium: Bronze Accession: 23.69 On view in:Gallery 164

Bronze hydria (water jar)

Date: ca. 375–350 B.C. Medium: Bronze, silver Accession: 53.11.3 On view in:Gallery 171

Bronze diskos thrower

Date: ca. 480–460 B.C. Medium: Bronze Accession: 07.286.87 On view in:Gallery 153