Youth

Roman
Republican or Imperial Period
1st century B.C.–1st century A.D.


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 029; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 107 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height: 58 cm (22 13/16 in.)

Accession Number

22.593

Medium or Technique

Marble, probably from the Greek island of Paros

On View

Greek & Roman Sculpture Gallery (Gallery 211)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

The under life-size nude figure of a standing youth supports the weight of his body on his straightened right leg while his relaxed left leg is advanced. As a result of his stance, the left hip, left buttock and right shoulder are slightly lowered and the upper back curves gently to the right. The broad shoulders, which are thrown back, emphasis the long, convex chest and tapered waist. The slenderness of the body is especially apparent in a profile view.

Condition: The torso, both legs at the knees, the upper arms, and parts of the genitalia are preserved. A break runs along the bottom of the neck above the clavicles. A piece of the back below the right shoulder blade is chipped away and smaller marks from a pick axe dot the surface of the marble. A break at the waist below the navel previously separated the two parts of the torso. Struts are visible on the left hip and back of the right thigh, and an indentation on the left arm was most likely a clamp to hold the arm in place.

Scientific Analysis:
Harvard Lab No. HI753: Isotope ratios - delta13C +5.01 / delta18O -2.90, Attribution - Paros 1, Justification - Medium grained marble.


The Roman artist who created this statue was deliberately emulating Greek sculptures of the early fifth century B.C. The slender proportions, balanced symmetry, and subdued style recall the famous “Kritios Boy” found on the Athenian Akropolis. Here, the suggestive pose and soft, effeminate body accentuate the eroticism of the figure, which probably belonged to the décor of a Roman public
bath or private villa.

Provenance

By 1896: with E. P. Warren (according to a letter from Warren dated 5.7.22: The torso was purchased in, or before, 1896, from Dr. Hauser and Dr. Hartwig, who had, I believe, discovered it in Rome.); purchased by MFA from E. P. Warren, May 18, 1922, for $18,500.00

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912