The present lot is based on a 5th Century B.C. bronze sculpture of the Doryphorus by Polykleitos, a highly celebrated Classical Period sculptor. According to Pliny, Polykleitos wrote about a sculptural Canon which emphasized the juxtaposition of antithetical pairs, such as right and left, straight and curved, relaxed and tensed, rest and movement. The Doryphoros is considered the embodiment of Polykleitos' Canon. Kenneth Clark describes the Uffizi's similar Doryphoros: 'being in a hard, smooth basalt, conveys the effect of bronze... and proves that Polykleitos' scheme of the body, like all abstractions that have survived, not only contained life, but was bursting with a vitality all the more potent because forced into such a narrow channel' (The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form, New York, 1956).
For related statues and torsos of Polykleitos' Doryphoros Cf. H. Beck et al, Polyklet, Der Bildhauer der griechischen Klassik, Frankfurt, 1990; W. G. Moon, ed., Polykleitos, the Doryphoros and Tradition, Wisconsin, 1995; and M. De Nuccio and L. Ungaro, I marmi colorati della Roma imperale, Rome, 2002, p. 342.