Statue of a Victorious Youth

Object Details


Statue of a Victorious Youth






300 - 100 B.C.


Bronze with inlaid copper


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.


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

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

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Related Media
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    Audio: Statue of a Victorious Youth / Carol Mattusch (Highlights)
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