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The original bronze statue of the Charioteer was found in 1896 under the sacred road in the area of the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi. It shows a charioteer. Next to the statue, there were also excavated fragments of the draft animals and a dedicatory inscription certifying that the statue had been part of a sculptural group funded by the Sicilian ruler Polyzalos.

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The original bronze statue of the Charioteer was found in 1896 under the sacred road in the area of the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi. It shows a charioteer. Next to the statue, there were also excavated fragments of the draft animals and a dedicatory inscription certifying that the statue had been part of a sculptural group funded by the Sicilian ruler Polyzalos. The bronze four-horse team with the charioteer was probably a votive offering to Apollo in Delphi for the victory at the Pythian Games, perhaps in 478 or 474 BC. A lot of hypotheses arose about the authorship of the work, the founder, the honoured winner, the circumstances of the monument’s erection and its original reconstruction.[1]. The Charioteer of Delphi is currently exhibited at the Delphi Archaeological Museum (Inventory No.: 3517).
The present cast was made in the Louvre, as evidenced by the inscription on the plate located on the back of the statue: “Musée du Louvre No. 7187”. On the front of the sculpture’s base there is an engraved inscription: “Delphes Aurige Vainqueur”. In Louvre, many plaster casts of antique sculptures have been made – including the Charioteer of Delphi, whose replica lies in the collections of the Parisian museum.

Bibliography:

  1. [1] Gianfranco Adornato, Delphic Enigmas? The Γέλας ἀνάσσων, Polyzalos, and the Charioteer Statue, American Journal of Archaeology”, 2008, vol. 112, no. 1, p. 29–55.

Elaborated by Adam Spodaryk (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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“Charioteer of Delphi” – a plaster cast of an antique figure

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