This beautiful rendition of the Borghese gladiator was made in the late 18th century when the popularity of reductions after the antique was at a high point. These classical sculptures, mostly displayed in Rome and Naples were highly regarded throughout Europe and no art collection was complete without at least one such statue. The Borghese gladiator was found at Nettuno before 1611 and added to the Borghese collection in Rome. At the Villa Borghese it stood in a ground-floor room named for it. Sold to Napoleon by Camillo Borghese in 1807, it was taken to Paris when the Borghese collection was acquired for the Louvre Museum, where it now resides. Misnamed a gladiator due to an erroneous restoration, it was among the most admired and copied works of antiquity in the eighteenth century
Another fine bronze of the farnese Hercules signed ANGELO DEROSSI ROMA was sold by Sothebys London, 6 July 2007, lot 152.