The J. Paul Getty Museum

Belvedere Antinous

Object Details


Belvedere Antinous


Attributed to Pietro Tacca (Italian, 1577 - 1640)




Italy (Place Created)


about 1630



Object Number:



64.6 × 28.4 × 20.3 cm, 9.9791 kg (25 7/16 × 11 3/16 × 8 in., 22 lb.)

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Object Description

The composition of this two-foot tall bronze sculpture--with its contrapposto pose and ancient Greek cloak--is based on what artists and collectors considered one of the most beautiful surviving statues from antiquity, the ancient Roman marble known as Belvedere Antinous, now in the Vatican Museums. While the original was first thought to represent Roman Emperor Hadrian's handsome Greek lover Antinous, scholars now believe the work is a representation of the Olympian god Hermes. Considered a model of ideal human proportions, the statue inspired many artistic interpretations.

From the Renaissance on, the European elite sought reduced-size bronze reproductions made after famous ancient models to display in their collections. It is believed French aristocrat and collector Louis Hesselin commissioned this statue during a trip to Italy in the 1630s. Upon his death, this bronze, along with more than thirty others he owned, was acquired by the Sun King, Louis XIV.

The N.4 engraved on the back of the right ankle is the statue's inventory number from the bronze collection of the French Crown, indicating the statue's royal provenance.

possibly 1633 or 1637 - 1662

Louis Hesselin, French, 1600 - 1662 (Paris, France), by inheritance to his heirs, 1662.

1662 - 1663

Hesselin Family, French, (Paris, France), sold to the French Crown, Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, for Louis XIV, 1663.

1663 - 1792

French Crown, Garde-Meuble de la Couronne (in 1707, château de Vincennes, France; in 1722, 1733, 1775, Garde-Meuble, L'Antin, Paris, France; in 1788, salle des Bijoux, Hôtel de la Marine, Garde-Meuble, Paris), nationalized during the French Revolution.

1792 - 1796

French government, Garde-Meuble national (Hôtel de la Marine, Garde-Meuble, Paris, France), sold to Gabriel-Aimé Jourdan.

1796 - 1803

Gabriel-Aimé Jourdan, French, (Paris, France) [sold, Jourdan sale, Paris, April 4, 1803, lot 99.]

by 1973

Jean-Jacques Edrei, French, (Paris, France)
Source: Jean-Jacques Edrei, "Les bronzes Louis XIV." Plaisirs de France, November 1973, p. 29, ill. 16-17 indicates the bronze in his collection

late 1970s - 2014

Private Collection (Paris, France), on consignment to Sotheby's (Paris), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum by private treaty sale, 2014.

Recent Acquisitions: Auguste Rodin Pietro Tacca (June 10, 2014 to March 9, 2015)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 10, 2014 to March 9, 2015
Louis XIV at the Getty (June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016
Camp: Notes on Fashion (May 6 to September 2, 1019)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), May 6 to September 2, 2019

Edrei, Jean-Jacques. "Les bronzes Louis XIV." Plaisirs de France (November 1973), p. 29, figs. 16-17.

Baratte, Sophie, et al. eds. Les bronzes de la Couronne, exh. cat. (Paris: musée du Louvre, with Réunion des musées nationaux, 1999), p. 75, no. 4, ill., entry by Amaury Lefébure.

Zikos, Dimitrios. The Louis XIV Belvedere Antinous: Pietro Tacca's rediscovered bronze masterpiece, sale brochure (Sotheby's, 2013).

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 8th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), p. 250, ill.