Albani Hermes-Antinous

Inv. Scu 741

Statue of a naked youth, depicted leaning on his left leg; his pelvis is turned slightly to the right with a corresponding torsion of head and shoulders. The arms are opened, hanging softly at his side with palms turned outward. The head is inclined downwards and slightly to the right and is hair is a masterpiece of carefully sculpted curls which show the shape of the skull.

The provenience of the statue from Villa Adriana (the country palace of Hadrian outside of Rome), together with a certain air of melancholy in his face and in his gaze caused the identification of the figure with Antinous and the sculpture is in fact recorded as Antinous in the 1733 inventory of the Collezione Albani
Alessandro Albani . On the other hand several defining features of Antinous, such as arched eyebrows and full lips, are lacking. Moreover, the features of the statue are generally considered too idealized to be associated with portraiture, hence the identification of the figure with a young Hermes.

The work dates to the late Hadrianic / early Antonine period (c.130-150 AD). Originally part of the Albani collection, the work was acquired by Pope Clement XII in the eighteenth century for the Capitoline Museums. It was seized by the French after the Treaty of Tolentino but was restored to the Capitoline collections in 1815 .