Luigi Valadier (1726–1785)
Apollo Sauroctonos, ca. 1778
13 5/8 × 4 3/8 × 4 3/8 in. (34.5 × 11 × 11 cm)
The Royal Collections, Sweden
© Lisa Raihle Rehbäck, The Royal Court, Sweden
While in Rome, about 1778, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel commissioned a series of bronze reductions of famous classical statues for King Gustav III of Sweden. The five shown in the exhibition (from a much larger group) — Antinous, Ludovisi Ares, Apollo Sauroctonos, Cleopatra (today called Ariadne), and Faustina the Younger — are uniform in quality, chasing, and patina and sit on beautifully designed bases in cipollino marble. It was common for foreign rulers and aristocrats to own small versions of some of the best-known statues from Roman antiquity.