River god (Arno)

Photogallery

River god (Arno)
River god (Arno)

River god (Arno)

This statue, which shows the river god in a traditional reclining pose, dates from the time of the Emperor Hadrian and was inspired by a Greek prototype. In the early 16th century it was displayed in the Courtyard of Statues (Cortile delle Statue) where it was part of a fountain, the basin of which is a sarcophagus dating from 170-180 A.D. decorated with scenes of battles between Greeks and Amazons. The statue was repaired and restored by various Renaissance artists, who replaced many parts, including the head with its expressive bearded face. A small lion's head has been carved on the vase, also a restoration, which was probably made in homage to Pope Leo X Medici (1513-1521). These two elements suggest that the statue can be identified with the River Arno, which flows through Florence, though the presence of the feline, once thought to be a tiger, meant that for many years the statue was known as the River Tigris of the ancient Mesopotamia.