Statue of Jupiter (Marbury Hall Zeus)

Object Details


Statue of Jupiter (Marbury Hall Zeus)






Italy (Place found)


1st century




207 × 100 × 62.5 cm (81 1/2 × 39 3/8 × 24 5/8 in.)

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Portrayed as a mature bearded man, Zeus sits enthroned in his role as king of the gods. Originally he would have held his attributes: a scepter and a thunderbolt. The colossal god towers over his mortal observers. Documented in the 1570s at Tivoli near Rome, the statue once decorated the gardens of the Villa d'Este. It is named for having been in the collection at Marbury Hall in England.

Although it was carved in a Roman workshop in the first century A.D., the inspiration for this image of Jupiter was a Greek sculpture of the 430s B.C., the monumental gold and ivory statue of Zeus created by the sculptor Pheidias (active 470-420 B.C.) for Zeus's temple at Olympia. Pheidias's Zeus was renowned in antiquity; as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, many ancient writers praised it and numerous sculptors copied it.

by 1572

Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este, 1509 - 1572 (Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Italy), the statue was displayed at the entrance to the garden at Villa d'Este. By inheritance to his nephew, Cardinal Luigi d'Este, 1572.

1572 - 1586

Cardinal Luigi d'Este, 1538 - 1586 (Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Italy), Villa d'Este and its contents seized by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, 1586.

1586 - 1589

Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, Dean of the Sacred College, 1520 - 1589 (Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Italy), by inheritance to successive deans of the Sacred College, 1589. Seized by Cardinal Alessandro d'Este, by 1605.

by 1605 - 1624

Cardinal Alessandro d'Este, 1568 - 1624 (Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Italy), by 1611 the statue had been relocated to the center niche of the Fontana dei Draghi in the gardens of the Villa d'Este where it remained until it was purchased by Henry Tresham (1778).

by 1632

Francesco I d'Este, Duke of Modena and Reggio, 1610 - 1658 (Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Italy)


Cardinal Rinaldo d'Este, 1618 - 1672 (Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Italy)


Rinaldo d'Este, Duke of Modena and Reggio, 1655 - 1737

by 1675 - still in 1685

Francesco II d'Este, Duke of Modena, 1660 - 1694 (Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Italy)

- 1778

Henry Tresham, Irish, about 1751 - 1814, sold to Gavin Hamilton, 1778.

1778 - 1781

Gavin Hamilton, British, 1723 - 1798 (Rome, Italy), sold to James Hugh Smith Barry, 1781.

1781 -

James Hugh Smith Barry, British, 1746? - 1801 (Marbury Hall, Cheshire, England), remained in the Smith Barry collection at Marbury Hall until the family sold the property in 1932. The statue was offered for sale in London in 1933 ("Remaining Contents of the Residence," Arber, Rutter, Waghorn and Brown, London, March 15-16, 1933, lot 751) but bought in and continued to be displayed at Marbury Hall.

by 1956

Miss E. Parsons (Marbury Hall, Chesire, England)

- 1973

Michel Dumez-Onof (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum in partial exchange, 1973.

Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection (March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004

del Re, Antonio. Dell'antichità tiburtine capitolo V. (Rome, 1611) p. 65.

Venturini, Gio. F. Le Fontane del giardino estense in Tivoli. Rome, 1675. pl. II.

Giovanni Batista Falda, Le fontane di Roma nelle piazze e lvoghi pvblici della citta` : con li loro prospetti, come sono al presente. Rome, 1691.

Cartieri, Gaetano. 1752-3 inventory of the Villa d'Este. Archivio di Stato at Modena, Busta 72. no. 20.

Clarac, Cte. Frederic de. Musee de sculpture antique et moderne, ou Description historique et graphique du Louvre at de toutes ses parties. (Paris: 1841-1853) III, 396D, 666A.

Overbeck, Johannes. Griechische Kunstmythologie II, 1871. p. 118.

Michaelis, Adolf. "Die Privatsammlungen antiker Bildwerke in England," Archaeologische Zeitung 32 (1875), pp. 1-70. p. 44, no. 1 (under Marbury Hall).

Fiorelli, Giuseppe. Documenti inediti per servire alla storia dei musei d'Italia II. vii. (1879) (publication of the inventory of the Villa d'Este from December 3, 1572 from the Archivio di Stato, Rome, vol 375 [now vol. 6039]) no. 9.

Michaelis, Adolf Theodor Friedrich. Ancient Marbles in Great Britain. 1882. p. 501, no. 1.

Arndt, Paul, and Walter Amelung. Photographische Einzelaufnahmen antiker Skulpturen. Munich: 1893-1940. 3100.

Reinach, Salomon. Repertoire de la statuaire grecque et romaine. Paris: 1897-1930. Vol. I, p. 184.

Ashby, Thomas. "The Villa d'Este at Tivoli and the Collection of Classical Sculptures which it contained." Archaeologia 61.1 (1908), 219-256. p. 230, with pl.28 (Venturini's view of the Fontana dei Draghi), p.230, p.243.

Arber, Rutter, Waghorn and Brown. Sale cat. "Remaining Contents of the Residence." London, March 15-16, 1933. lot 751.

Vermeule, Cornelius C., and Dietrich von Bothmer. "Notes on a New Edition of Michaelis: Ancient Marbles in Great Britain. II." American Journal of Archaeology 60 (1956). P. 321 ff. p. 336.

Vermeule, Cornelius C. "The Colossus of Porto Raphti: A Roman Female Personification," Hesperia 45, 1 (January-March 1976), pp. 67-76. p. 71; pl. 12c.

Vermeule, Cornelius C. "The Heroic Graeco-Roman Zeus from the Villa d'Este and Marbury Hall: A Cult Image Created after a Major Hellenistic (Pergamene) Prototype," The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 5 (1977), pp. 43-44.

Vermeule, Cornelius C. Greek Art. Socrates to Sulla. Art of Antiquity 2, pt. 2. Boston: 1980. pp. 132, 262; no. 110A, ill.

Podany, Jerry. "The Conservation of Two Marble Sculptures in the J. Paul Getty Museum," The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 9 (1981), pp. 103-108. p. 103, n. 2.

Bogan, James. "Blake's Jupiter Olympius." Blake:An Illustrated Quarterly 15, 4 (Spring 1982), pp. 156-163. p. 159, fig. 4.

Vermeule, Cornelius C. Divinities and Mythological Scenes in Greek Imperial Art, 1983. fig. 46.

Raeder, Joachim. Die statuarische Ausstattung der Villa Hadriana bei Tivoli (Frankfurt am Main and Bern: Peter Lang, 1983) p. 197 no. V13.

Bianconi, G. "Tivoli e le sue rovine: immagini dalla letteratura tedesca." In Atti e Memorie LVII (1984) pp. 179-181, pl. XXIII.

Vaughan, Gerard. "James Hugh Smith Barry as a Collector of Antiquities," Apollo CXXVI, no. 305 (July 1987), pp. 4-11. pp. 10-11; figs. 8-9.

Martin, Hanz Günther. Römische Tempelkultbilder (Rome, 1987) p. 143.

Maderna, Catharina. Iuppiter Diomedes und Merkur als Vorbilder für römische Bildnisstatuen, 1988. p. 29.

Krause, B. Trias Capitolina. PhD diss. Trier University, 1989. p. 37 n. 460 pl. 27.

Landwehr, Christa. "Die Sitzstatue eines bärtigen Gottes in Cherchel. Zur Originalität römischer Vatergottdarstellungen," in Andreae, B. (ed.) Phyromachos-Probleme (31. Ergh. RM), 1990. pp. 107, 112-13, cat. no. G1, pls. 68, 70.

Margolis, S., and W. Showers. "Ancient Greek and Roman Marble Sculpture: Authentication, Weathering, and Provenance Determination," Marble. Art Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Ancient Sculpture. Malibu: 1990. pp. 283-299. p. 267, Table 1, no. 11.

Canciani, Fulvio. "Zeus/Iuppiter," Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae VIII (1997), pp. 421-470. p. 427, no. 40; pl. 269.

Vlizos, Stavros. Der thronende Zeus: Eine Untersuchung zur statuarischen Ikonographie des Gottes in der spätklassischen und hellenistischen Kunst (Internationale Archäologie, 62). Rahden/Westf.: Leidorf, 1999. pp. 129-30, cat. M.1, pl. 14,1. (Flavian).

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002) p. 150-51.

Scott, Jonathan. The Pleasures of Antiquity: British Collectors of Greece and Rome. (New Haven, 2003) pp. 145, 146 fig. 106.

Musser, Jacob. "Apollo and Marbury Hall Zeus:Politics and Apotheosis in Roman Sculpture." In Building Bridges: 7th Annual Research Conference for Community Colleges, University of California at Irvine, March 2007 (Irvine: University of California, 2007) p. 11.

Coltman, Viccy. Classical Sculpture and the Culture of Collecting in Britain since 1760 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) p.130, fig. 43 (sketch by Gavin Hamilton).

Ferruti, Francesco. "La Villa d'Este a Tivoli e la collezione di sculture classiche che conteneva (di Thomas Ashby)." In Atti e Memorie della Società Tiburtina di Storia e d'Arte. (2009) (Italian translation of Ashby's 1908 article with commentary) pp. 234, 244, 246, 247, 274, no. 9.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010) p. 148.

Di Mauro, Alberto. Italy Art LA, educational brochure (Los Angeles: Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, 2012) p. 23.

Education Resources

Education Resource




Giants of the Past

Students create paper sculptures based on Greek and Roman sculptures, and write stories told from the viewpoint of their sculptures.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts


Three/Five-Part Lesson

Ancient Greek & Roman Talk Show

Lesson in which students research and study artworks that depict Greek and Roman deities and present a mock TV talk show with the deities.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; History–Social Science

6-8; 9-12

Three/Five-Part Lesson