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WORK OF THE WEEK | 18 June 2019

CAG.916 Apollo Belvedere, c.1816, plaster cast after marble copy of bronze original by Leochares, 243 x 120 x 78 cm. Photo: Jed Niezgoda.

We’ve got the Cork Midsummer Festival bug so this WORK OF THE WEEK is all about the Greek god of music, art, poetry, dance, healing, and the (currently elusive) sun!

Apollo Belvedere is an icon of Classical art and has been much copied and emulated over the past two millennia. In 1816, our plaster version was cast directly from the Vatican marble – dating to the first half of the second century – which is itself a copy of an earlier bronze original (now lost) by Leochares of Athens. Imitation may indeed be the highest form of flattery!

Also known as Pythian Apollo, his graceful movement is described in contrapposto (counterpoise), a twisting motion that activates the figure and expresses all the ‘noble simplicity and quiet grandeur’ so prized by archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768).

Also known as Pythian Apollo, his graceful movement is described in contrapposto (counterpoise), a twisting motion that activates the figure and expresses all the ‘noble simplicity and quiet grandeur’ so prized by archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768).

Although our cast is missing his right arm and left hand, he adopts the pose of an archer and is nude but for his sandals, chlamys (robe), and soon to be removed fig leaf. Apollo will be the last of our historic Canova Casts to undergo conservation treatment and be uncovered as part of THE FIG REVEAL (17-21 / 24-28 June 2019).

To find out more, join sculpture conservator Eoghan Daltun in conversation with assistant curator Michael Waldron at 1pm, 20 June 2019. All welcome!

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