Torso of Apollo or Dionysos, 1st-2nd century
Imperial Roman
24 ½ × 16 ½ × 9 1/8 in. (62.2 × 41.9 × 23.2 cm)
3-D Object/Sculpture
1964-007 DJ

Photo: Paul Hester
Learn More
This fragmentary sculpture represents the torso of a male figure with long hair. He is nude other than the edge of a cloak, known as a chlamys, draped over his left shoulder. Although the sculpture is broken at the neck, arms, and upper legs, portions of the extant limbs indicate he stood in a pose known as contrapposto with his weight shifted onto his left leg, creating a subtle “s” curve in his body position. His right arm was lifted, and the breaks underneath the arm along that side suggest another figure was part of the sculpture. Another area of rough surface behind the left leg indicates a support of some variety, which usually took the form of a tree trunk. The plump body form suggests the sculpture was created in the early Roman Imperial period, possibly around the reign of Hadrian (117–138 CE). The identity of the figure is still a matter for debate: it could represent Dionysos, perhaps leaning on a small satyr, or possibly Apollo, another youthful god depicted with long hair. Sculptures such as this were common decorative elements in homes, gardens, and public buildings, such as bathhouses, but were also appropriate as votives in sanctuaries.