Diadumenos, from the Greek dyadeo, ‘crown’, is the athlete who wraps the tainia, the strip of victory, around his head. The Torlonia athlete is a marble replica of the original Diadumenos by the sculptor Polyclitus, the artist who, in his creations, impressed the canons of ideal beauty in the Greek world, believing it to be attainable only through the perfect balance of the parts of a form.
In the representation of the triumphant gesture, the tense muscles hint at elasticity and movement, renewing the synthesis of harmony, balance and rhythm already achieved by the master in the creation of the famous Doryphorus, the spear bearer. An emblem of vigour and beauty, the athlete wearing the tainia has sometimes been interpreted as a portrait of deity or as a triumphant hero, like Apollo, Paris the Trojan or the Athenian Theseus.
Inventory: MT 332
Material: White marble
Technique: Work sculpted through the use of: chisels (also square-tipped and toothed) rasps
Dating: Imperial era