Apollo Lykeios

Classical Greek    

replica: from the Staatlichen Museen, Berlin

gift of: Dr Peter & Doris Bietenholz

date of the original: 370-360 BC 

provenance of the original: in AD 1776, on Frederick the Great’s order, it was purchased in Rome; in AD 1826, it was acquired by the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, where it remains today

description: The Olympian god Apollo holding a lyre. Plaster replica; marble original. Height 237 cm, width 81 cm, depth 77 cm.

The Greek original of this statue is lost; it was, however, described by Lucian, who noted that the statue was located in the Lyceum, Athens’ outdoor gymnasium named after Apollo’s temple. That statue leaned on a column, a bow in his left hand with his right arm curved over his head. Coins such as the tetradrachm sometimes depict Apollo Lykeios in a similar stance.

Apollo was in fact one of the most frequently portrayed male deities in the Late Classical period. Some thirty copies of the Apollo Lykeios sculpture itself survive, indicating that the original was a well-known cult image.

This particular statue is a Roman copy of the Greek original. The original has been attributed to Praxiteles, as its style closely resembles that of Hermes with the Infant Dionysus (see also: Aphrodite of CnidosAphrodite of Arles). In the 18th century, Bartolomeo Cavaceppi restored this statue’s arms, left leg and head. The head was in fact taken from a statue of Apollo Kitharoidos (Apollo with thekithara).