Copy of work attributed to Polykleitos
Period: Early Imperial, Flavian
Date: ca. A.D. 69–96
Dimensions: H. 73 in. (185.4 cm)
Classification: Stone Sculpture
Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1925
Accession Number: 25.78.56
This statue represents a youth adorning his head with a fillet (band) after victory in an athletic contest. The original bronze probably stood in a sanctuary such as that at Olympia or Delphi, where games were regularly held. The Greek sculptor Polykleitos of Argos, who worked during the mid-fifth century B.C., was one of the most famous artists of the ancient world. His figures are carefully designed with special attention to bodily proportions and stance. The figure's thorax and pelvis tilt in opposite directions, setting up rhythmic contrasts in the torso that create an impression of organic vitality. The position of the feet—poised between standing and walking—gives a sense of potential movement. This rigorously calculated pose, which is found in almost all works attributed to Polykleitos, became a standard formula used in Graeco-Roman and later Western European art.