Italian Grand Tour Bronze Runner Sculptures Early 20th Century
A Pair of Grand Tour cast bronze sculptures of the Herculaneum runners, modeled after the famous antique models in the Villa of the Papyri, Herculaneum, now located in Neaples Royal Museum.
Standing on a rectangular base, the two figures are in good condition, with a beautiful near-black patina to the surface.
They come from a Grand Tour souvenir private collection in Milan and date back to 1930 circa.
The two twin bronze statues are part of the statuary of Villa of the Papyri, a luxury villa on the outskirts of the ancient Herculaneum (Ercolano), where they were found in 1754.
The work portrays two nude young athletes on an irregular base in a similar and specular posture, completely similar in the facial features.
The statue shows the athlete with the left leg bent forward and the sole of the foot resting on the ground, while the right leg is set back with the heel raised; the trunk is leant forward; the right arm is bent, while the left one is lowered; the head is slightly turned towards the shoulders; the hair, with short tufts ruffled on the forehead, is arranged in two opposite pincers-shaped locks, the eyes are well detailed.
They are probably copies of Greek statues of the late fourth century or the early third century BC, celebrating a victorious athlete in one of the major Pan-hellenic games; they can be referred to the Augustan Age according to the context and a stylistic analysis.
Measures: Height 48 cm
Width 40 cm
Depth 19 cm.
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