Statue of a Victorious Youth

Object Details

Title:

Statue of a Victorious Youth

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Greek

Place(s):

Greece (Place created)

Date:

300 - 100 B.C.

Medium:

Bronze with inlaid copper

Dimensions:

151.5 x 70 x 27.9 cm, 158.759 kg (59 5/8 x 27 9/16 x 11 in., 350 lb.)

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A naked youth stands with his weight on his right leg, crowning himself with a wreath, probably olive. The olive wreath was the prize for a victor in the Olympic Games and identifies this youth as a victorious athlete. The eyes of the figure were originally inlaid with colored stone or glass paste and the nipples were inlaid with copper, creating naturalistic color contrasts.

Found in the sea in international waters, this statue is one of the few life-size Greek bronzes to have survived; as such, it provides much information on the technology of ancient bronze casting. The origin of the statue is unknown, but either Olympia or the youth's hometown is possible. Romans probably carried the statue off from its original location during the first century B.C. or A.D., when Roman collecting of Greek art was at its height. The Roman ship carrying it may have foundered, preserving the statue for centuries in the sea.

Provenance
1971-1977

Heinz Herzer (Artemis Fine Arts Ltd) (Munich, Germany), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977

Exhibitions
Beyond Beauty: Antiquities as Evidence (December 16, 1997 to January 17, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to January 17, 1999
Display and Technical Studies (March 1 to April 7, 2000)
  • Skulpturensammlung und Museum fur Byzantinische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, (Berlin), March 1 to April 3, 2000
  • Bundesanstalt fur Materialforschung und Prufung, (Berlin), April 3 to April 7, 2000
Athletes in Antiquity: Works from the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (February 1 to April 15, 2002)
  • Utah Museum of Fine Arts, (Salt Lake City), February 1 to April 15, 2002
Bibliography

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Holtzmann, Bernard and Alain Pasquier. Histoire de l'art antique: l'art grec (Paris: Reunion des Musees Nationaux-Grand Palais, 2011)... Textbook release was slated for October 2011; more information forthcoming.

Spivey, Nigel. The Ancient Olympics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)... E-book and monograph slated for release June 2012; more information forthcoming.

Related Media
  • /
    Audio: Statue of a Victorious Youth / Carol Mattusch (Highlights)
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    Audio: Statue of a Victorious Youth - Conservation / J. Podany
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    Audio: Victorious Youth (Descriptions)