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For the Literary Magazine.

account of statues, busts,
&c. in the collection of
the academy of arts. new-

no. i.
The Pythian Apollo: called the
Apollo Belvedere

The son of Latona, in his rapid
course, has just overtaken the ser-
pent Python. The mortal dart is
already discharged from his dread-
ful bow, which he holds in his left
hand, and from which his right is
just withdrawn; the motion impres-
sed on all his muscles is still pre-
served. Indignation sits on his lip,
but on his countenance the certain-
ty of victory is imprinted, and his
eye sparkles with satisfaction at
having delivered Delphos from the
monster which ravaged its coasts.

His hair, lightly curled, flows in
ringlets down his neck, or rises
with grace to the summit of his
head, which is encircled with the
strophium, the distinguishing band
of gods and kings. His quiver is
suspended by a belt across his left
shoulder. His robe (chlamys) at-
tached to the shoulder, turned up
on the left arm only, is thrown back,
shewing to greater advantage his
divine form. The glow of youth
enlivens his elegant person, in which
nobleness and agility, with vigor and
elegance are sublimely blended,
preserving a happy medium be-
tween the delicate form of Bacchus,
and the more firm and masculine
lines of Mercury.

Apollo, the vanquisher of the ser-
pent Python,
is the subject of an in-
genious fable, invented by the an-
cients to express the genial influence
of the sun that renders the air more
salubrious, by correcting the infecti-
ous exhalations of the coasts of
which this reptile is the emblem—
every thing in this figure, nay the
very trunk of the tree indroduced
to support it, presents some inte-
resting allusion. This trunk is that
of the ancient olive tree, of Delos,

under whose shade the god was
born. It is adorned with fruit, and
the serpent ascending it is the sym-
bol of life and health, of which Apol-
lo was the god. This statue, the
most perfect of all that time has
spared, was found about the close
of the fifteenth century, on Capo de
twelve leagues from Rome,
on the margin of the sea, in the
ruins of the ancient Antium, a city
celebrated for its temple of fortune,
and for the rival villas built by the
emperors and embellished with the
master pieces of art.

Julius the second, while a cardi-
nal, purchased this statue, and
placed it, in the first instance, in
the palace he occupied near the
church of the holy apostles; but
shortly after having attained the
pontificate, he removed it to the
Belvedere of the Vatican, where
for three centuries it remained the
admiration of the world; when a
hero, guided by victory, arrived to
transplant and fix it, perhaps for-
ever, on the banks of the Seine.

It is a question for antiquaries
and naturalists to determine, from
what quarry the marble of this
Apollo has been cut. The statuaries
of Rome, who from their occupation
have an extensive knowledge of
ancient marbles, have invariably
deemed it an ancient Grecian mar-
although of a quality very dif-
ferent from the most known spe-
cies. On the contrary, the painter
Mengs, has asserted that this sta-
tue is of the marble of Luni or Ca-
the quarries of which, were
known and worked in the time of
Julius Cesar. Citizen Dolomieu a
learned mineralogist, is of the same
opinion, and he pretends to have
found in one of the ancient quarries
of Luni, fragments of marble re-
sembling that of the Apollo. Not-
withstanding these authorities, this
subject may still be considered as
very doubtful.

The beauty of the statues of An-
and the perfection of sculp-
ture at that time evidently demon-
strate that until the epoch of Adrian
at least, the Grecian school furnish-

 image pending 186

ed artists worthy to be compared
with the most able statuaries of an-
tiquity. Pliny entertained the same
opinion of the artists of his age.

The author of this chef d' oeuvre
is unknown. The lower part of the
right arm and the left hand, which
were wanting, have been restored
by Giovanni Angelo de Mentorsoli,
sculptor and pupil of Michael An-

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