Statue of Apollo Sauroktonos
Uffizi Gallery, Sculpture Inventory, 1914, no. 249
II century AD
Fine-grained Greek marble and colored marbles
Height: m. 0.85
Documented in the Uffizi Gallery from 1565, the sculpture is currently housed in the second Corridor, after having transited over the centuries in the First Corridor, in the Vestibule and in the Third Corridor.
The II-century Roman statue is a replica after the bronze original of the celebrated Greek artist Praxiteles from 365-350 BC, representing Apollo Sauroktonos (Lizard-Slayer). In XVI century the statue looked very much fragmented and an extensive integration intervention was necessary. The scholars at the Medici Court of Cosimo I interpreted the god as Apollo Citharoedus, that is playing the lyre.
The only ancient part of the sculpture is the torso with the thighs, whereas head, arms and legs are the result of the XVI-Century restoration, as well as the lyre with the soft elegant drape and the refined polychromatic tripod with the embossed griffin. A coeval document attests the colored marbles acquired for the making of the tripod were assigned to the Florentine sculptore and restorer Giovan Battista Caccini, who also sculpted the other missing parts.
The sculpture had been in a poor state of conservation, with diffused deposits of dust and fractures in the old filling. The thorough restoration intervention initially involved removing the dust and grime deposits by means of chemical and mechanical cleaning tools. Then the deteriorated former fillers, particularly evident on the right-hand fingers, the torso and glutei, were consolidated and repaired. Moreover, in order to improve the correct legibility of the statue, the right-hand index finger had to be integrated on the basis of old photographs, besides a missing inlay of the lyre. The restoration has also been the occasion for a systematic photographic campaign and a mapping of both ancient and modern parts of the sculpture, essential for future study and research.