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Marble statue of a youth on horseback
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Тhis statue portrays a young Roman dressed as a hero – naked except for his military cloak (paludamentum). The youth’s arms and three of the horse’s legs are sixteenth-century restorations.

Equestrian statues such as this were not common in antiquity, so the subject was clearly a person of some importance. The boy’s facial features and hairstyle resemble those of members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty of Roman emperors. When the sculpture first entered the Museum it was identified as a portrait of the emperor Caligula (reigned AD 37-41) in his youth. Later it was thought that the head was earlier than the body. During recent cleaning, however, it was observed that the marble of the head of the youth and the unrestored parts of the horse were the same. This has raised once more the possibility that horse and rider belong together and do indeed represent a Julio-Claudian prince.

Marble statue of a youth on horseback


Roman, made in Italy, AD 1-50
Ht 205 cm (approx.)



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