Diadumenos by Polyclitus

140-150 AD, marble, 202 cm high [E88]. A Roman replica after the original bronze by Polyclitus of c. 420 BC.

This sculpture from the Classical Sculpture Collection of the Museo Nacional del Prado is one of the finest and best preserved of the 50 replicas of the Diadumenos by Polyclitus to have survived. It retains not only the left hand thanks to the presence of the original puntello (the reinforcement for transportation that was normally removed once the work was installed), but also the position of the head and the careful reproduction of the original’s details such as the curls and the subdivision of the body.

The original sculpture of the Diadumenos was executed around 420 BC and was Polyclitus’s last work. In this work the sculptor from Argos varied his canon in a particularly creative manner, formulating the opposing principles of repose and movement to create a composition of enormous life and vitality.

Despite the 17th-century additions, this replica maintains and reflects the genius of the artist as expressed in the original bronze.

See the work at Online Gallery

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