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In the Gallery: Torso of a Youth, Greaco-Roman Sculpture, 1st Century A.D.

Apr

02

Written by Jocelyn Boigenzahn, Curatorial Intern

Greece, Torso, 1st century A.D., Marble, 23 5/8 in., Morton R. Hirschberg Memorial Fund Purchase, AP.1984.4.1.

Greece, Torso, 1st century A.D., Marble, 23 5/8 in., Morton R. Hirschberg Memorial Fund Purchase, AP.1984.4.1.

This small sculpture, despite being only a Torso of a youth from the shoulders to knees, is representative of the height of Classical Greek Sculpture.  Sculptures of this size were often found as grave markers or as votive gifts at Temples.  Following the style of Polykleitos of Argos, this sculpture uses the compositional system of the contrapposto, which provides visual as well as physical balance to the sculpture. This system can be identified by the creation of an “S” around a center line.  Think of it as forming a sort of visual dollar sign of arm bends and leg strides.  So, next time you visit this guy in the gallery, see if you can see the contrapposto.

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