Lost Statuette of Homer Illustrated in Orsini Imagines et Elogia 1570

Orsini Homer.jpg

Image: Extract from Orsini, F. 1570. Imagines et Elogia... Rome. 21.

Object Description: A statuette of Homer known to Fulvio Orsini in the mid-sixteenth century.

Discussion: Faber, in his compilation of Orsini’s notes, describes this object as an ‘imaguncula marmorea’ (a marble portraitling) (Faber 1606: 45). From this we know that the illustrated object is a marble statuette of the poet, the support (a common feature of sculpture in stone) beneath the left elbow further indication of the object’s material. The statue is broken off beneath the knees, and lacks both arms below the elbow. The figure wears a fillet (which suggests a poetic role), and apparently a chiton (tunic) and himation (cloak). This image has been thought to resemble the Apollonius of Tyana Type Homer, and is used as a criterion for its identification.


  • Cellini, G. A. 2004. Il Contributo di Fulvio Orsini alla Ricerca Antiquaria. Rome. 352-357.
  • Faber, J. 1606. In Imagines Illustrium… Commentarius. Antwerp. 45, n. 72.
  • Kätzlmeier-Frank, M. 1993. Theodor Galles Zeichnungen zu Fulvio Orsinis Imagines : der Codex Capponianus 228. Münster.
  • Richter, G. M. A. 1965. The Portraits of the Greeks I, vol. 1. London. 48-50.
  • Richter, G. M. A. and Smith, R. R. R. 1984. The Portraits of the Greeks. London. 144.
  • Orsini, F. Imagines et Elogia. Rome. 20-21.

Relevant guides Homer: A Guide to Sculptural Types