Statue of a Centaur with its Base


The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

A grinning centaur, a mythological creature that is half-man and half-horse, stands proudly in this sculpture. He carries a set of panpipes and an animal skin is draped over his left arm. Colored marble such as this was quite expensive and a popular symbol of wealth in the Roman world. It was used primarily for architectural decoration and occasionally for sculpture.

This sculpture, acquired by the Getty Museum as a Roman work and believed to have come from the ruins of the palace of the emperor Domitian, has been recently reexamined. The centaur is covered with pointing marks that are not ancient, and further studies suggest that the sculpture was made as a copy of a Roman statue, although it incorporates ancient fragments. The ancient breccia marble base on which the centaur stands is not original to the statue.


  • Title: Statue of a Centaur with its Base
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1800s
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 157 × 127 × 63.5 cm (61 13/16 × 50 × 25 in.)
  • Type: Mythological figure
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Centaur: rosso antico; base: breccia
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 82.AL.78
  • Culture: Modern
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Sculpture (Visual Works)

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