CABINET OF THE APOLLO
The Apollo Belvedere, a Roman copy (c. 130140 A.D.) in marble of a Greek bronze (c. 330320 B.C.), probably by Leochares, which once stood in the Agora of Athens (Pausanias, 1, 3, 4). Julius II brought this statue, which was known as far back as the 14th century, from his palace near San Pietro in Vincoli to the Belvedere Court of the Statues. The hands, removed in 1924, were made by Giovanni Angelo da Montorsoli in 1532. The god, he who strikes from afar, held a bow in his left hand, as a symbol of his role as avenger. In his right hand he presumably held an arrow, taken from his open quiver. The cloak draped over his shoulders and left arm emphasizes his radiant, youthful figure, the maximum expression of the nobility and purity of the Apollonian being. Thus the gods dispose that poor mortals must live in anguish, but they themselves are not touched by pain, writes Homer (Illiad 6, 138 and 24, 525). Hölderlin remarked of this statue, ...the eyes observe with silent, eternal light. Johann Joachim Winckelmann wrote, Of all the works of antiquity that have escaped destruction, the statue of Apollo represents the highest ideal of art.