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Unknown Artist - Pasquino (Achilles)

Unknown artist
Pasquino (Achilles), undated copy
BRONZE, 20 inches high
Gift of the Estate of Albert L. Farwell

This detail of the head of the central figure in the ancient Pasquino group somewhat adapts the original composition, elevating the figure's gaze in a more dra­matic upward sweep than is the case in the original. During the late eighteenth century, archaeologist Ennio Quirino Visconti persuasively argued that the Pasquino group depicts a scene from Homer's Iliad in which Menelaus, Helen's rightful husband, recovers the body of his ally Patroclus, whom Achilles had sent into battle in his place. The original Menelaus figure responds more stoically to Patroclus' death than in the Athenaeum's version. (The original Pasquino group, one of three known ancient versions of the same subject, was, contrary to convention, named for an irreverent tailor near whose shop the sculpture was originally discovered rather than for its subject.)