An Athlete (after Polykleitos and restored by Bartolomeo Cavaceppi)
Roman, 2nd Century AD
Art / Sculpture
100 AD - 199 AD
1745 mm (Height)
Place of origin
RomeOrder this image
Petworth House and Park, West Sussex (Accredited Museum)
On show at
This marble sculpture of an athlete is a Roman copy after a bronze original attributed to Polykleitos, one of the most famous artists of the ancient world. The athlete is shown raising his right hand and holding a flask – or aryballos – from which he pours oil into his other hand. During training and competition, Greek athletes were typically naked and they applied oil to their bodies before exercise. Whether they did this to limber their muscles, to protect their skin from the sun, or simply to produce an aesthetically pleasing glistening body is not known for sure.
Italian marble sculpture, An Athlete (after Polykleitos and restored by Bartolomeo Cavaceppi), Roman, early 2nd century AD, marble copy of a bronze original attributed to Polykleitos. The full-length youth stands resting his left leg against a tree trunk, his right hand upraised to his shoulder holds an aryballos from which he pours oil into his left hand lying horizontally half-way across his body.
?Collected by Charles, 2nd Earl of Egremont, thence by descent, until the death in 1952 of the 3rd Lord Leconfield, who had given Petworth to the National Trust in 1947, and whose nephew and heir, John Wyndham, 6th Lord Leconfield and 1st Lord Egremont (1920-72), arranged for the acceptance of the major portion of the collections at Petworth in lieu of death duties (the first ever such arrangement) in 1956 by H.M. Treasury.
Marks and inscriptions
9 (painted on front of base)
Makers and roles
Roman, 2nd Century AD , sculptor Polykleitos (5th - early 4th century BC), sculptor Bartolomeo Cavaceppi (Rome 1716 - Rome 1799), restorer