Bronze torso of a youth

Period: Archaic or Classical

Date: 1st half of the 5th century B.C.

Culture: Greek

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 29 3/4 in. (75.6 cm)

Classification: Bronzes

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1920

Accession Number: 20.194


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.