Statuette of a Nude Youth Brandishing a Weapon
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Bruce White Photography
Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

Umbrian, about 490 B.C.
10 5/8 in.

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With one arm raised, a slim youth strides forward on this Umbrian bronze statuette. He once held a weapon, probably a spear, in the pierced fist of his raised right hand. He swings his left arm forward to help balance the movement of throwing.

The elongated physique of this spear bearer is characteristic of bronzes made in Umbria, a region of central Italy adjacent to Etruria. A naked youth brandishing a weapon was a frequent subject in Etruscan art. As seen here, Umbrian artists frequently copied Etruscan prototypes, but rendered them in their own style. Not as extreme as many Umbrian works, this statuette maintains a balance between realistic human proportions and attenuation.

Statuettes of this type were often given as offerings to the gods in shrines and sanctuaries. The long tangs left on the ends of this figure's feet were designed to attach it to a base and further suggest that it was a votive figure.