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Marble statue of a wounded warrior

Period:
Mid-Imperial, Antonine
Date:
ca. A.D. 138–181
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
H. 87 in. (220.98 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Hewitt Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
25.116
  • Description

    Copy of a Greek bronze statue of ca. 460–450 B.C.

    The subject of this statue has not been identified with certainty. The warrior held a shield on his left arm and probably a spear in his right hand, and he stands with his feet carefully placed on a sloping surface. The figure must have some association with the sea because a planklike form surrounded by waves is carved on the plinth of a second copy in the British Museum, London. It has been suggested that he is the Greek hero Protesilaos, who ignored an oracle's warning that the first Greek to step on Trojan soil would be the first to die in battle. The statue might represent him descending from the ship, ready to meet his fate. Following the discovery of a wound carved in the right armpit, the figure was reinterpreted as a dying warrior falling backward and identified as a famous statue by the sculptor Kresilas. Many other identifications have been suggested to explain the unusual stance and the unique iconography of this statue and of the copy in London, but none has been generally accepted.

  • Provenance

    Said to be from near Rome (Richter 1954, p. 23).

    Early 1920s, head and body excavated from near Rome; 1924-1925, acquired by Ugo Jandolo from his uncle, Alessandro Jandolo; acquired April 20, 1925, purchased from Ugo Jandolo, Rome.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1928-1929. "A Statue of Protesilaos in the Metropolitan Museum." Metropolitan Museum Studies, : pp. 187-200, figs. 1-7, 15-18.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 353, 356, fig. 255.

    Waldhauer, Oskar Ferdinandovich. 1932–1933. "On the Statue of Protesilaos in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum Studies, 4: p. 198, fig. 1.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936[1934]. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 137, 275, pl. 115a.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, no. 27, pp. 22-23, pls. 25-26.

    Bandinelli, Ranuccio Bianchi. 1958. Enciclopedia dell'Arte Antica, Classica e Orientale, Vol. 3. Rome: Instituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, p. 22, fig. 27.

    Bandinelli, Ranuccio Bianchi. 1965. Enciclopedia dell'Arte Antica, Classica e Orientale, Vol. 6. Rome: Instituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, p. 494, fig. 560.

    Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. Cambridge, England, pp. 343, 677 n. 121.

    Thimme, Jürgen. 1976. Kunst und Kultur der Kykladeninseln im 3. Jahrtausend v. Chr.: Ausstellung unter d. Patronat des International Council of Museums ICOM im Karlsruher Schloss vom 25. Juni-10. Oktober 1976. Karlsruhe: Müller, no. 44, pp. 62-63 .

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

    Picón, Carlos A. 1992. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1991-1992." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 50(2): no. 140, pp. 126-27.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1994. Oidipous-Theseus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 7. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Palamedes, no. 6; Protesilaos, no. 14a.

    1994. Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide: Works of Art Selected by Philippe De Montebello. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Bol, Renate. 1998. Amazones Volneratae: Untersuchungen ze den Ephesischen Amazonenstauen. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, p. 119, n 679.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 140, pp. 126-27, 432-33.

  • See also
    What
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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