Hadrian, Hadrian's Villa, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble relief depicting a youth with his horse

This month’s masterpiece from Hadrian’s Villa is a bas-relief representing a boy with a horse, probably Castor taming his horse, accompanied by a dog.

Boy with horse (possibly Castor), marble relief from Hadrian’s Villa, 125 AD, British Museum © Carole Raddato
Boy with horse (possibly Castor), marble relief from Hadrian’s Villa, 125 AD, British Museum
© Carole Raddato

This marble slab was carved using the flat ancient style in the manner of Greek works of the 5th century BC.  It was found in an area of Hadrian’s villa known as the Pantanello (little swamp) by Gavin Hamilton in about 1769, and subsequently formed one of the Townley Marbles collection bought by the British Museum. The discoveries at the Pantanello were considerable. Many sculptures and architectural fragments that are now in major international collections were found including a colossal head of Hercules and two busts of Hadrian.

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