The Belvedere Apollo is a notable marble sculpture from the classical period, representing the Greek deity Apollo. It depicts him after his victory over the serpent Python, using his bow and arrow. The figure is considered a copy of a lost bronze version, made by the Greek sculptor Leochares around 350-325 BCE. The current marble sculpture is believed to be a Roman creation in a Hellenistic style, dating from the Hadrianic period, around 120-140 CE.
The statue was found near Rome in the late 1400s and placed in the Vatican’s Cortile del Belvedere, which is where it gets its name. The Belvedere Apollo is highly regarded for reflecting the Greek fascination with idealized forms and beauty, leading many artists to follow a set of rules, known as the Canon. This ensured that their depictions of the gods reflected the human form at its most perfect. Thus, the Belvedere Apollo is a superb example of this trend of Greek art.
Overall, the Belvedere Apollo is a celebrated masterpiece of Greek art, created in the Hellenistic style during the Roman period. It is a copy of a lost bronze statue made by Leochares in the 4th century BCE. The sculpture’s idealized form reflects the Greeks’ interest in perfection and beauty, leading many artists to follow a set of rules known as the Canon. The statue’s discovery in the late 1400s and subsequent placement in the Vatican’s Cortile del Belvedere cemented its status as one of the most iconic artworks of all time.