Rosso antico torso of a centaur


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162

Wealthy Romans decorated their private villas and gardens with expensive marble statues that often featured juxtapositions of different colored stones or other media to create dramatic artistic effects. The figure here is carved from rosso antico, a striking red marble quarried in several locations in Greece. Cuttings at the lower back reveal that the fragment is the upper body of a centaur—a half-human half-horse creature from Greek mythology known for its wild temperament. The torso was originally attached to a horse body, likely carved in a different color marble. This centaur, one of several surviving Roman versions of a Hellenistic Greek sculpture, was probably displayed as one of a pair. Two similar centaurs in a stunning gray-black marble were found at Hadrian’s Villa near Rome.

Rosso antico torso of a centaur, Marble, Rosso antico, Roman

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.