Marble Belvedere Apollo, early 19th century, height 138 cm, base 42×45 cm.
Apollo was the Greek god protector of all the arts, medicine, music and prophecy. He was worshiped as the oracle god, able to reveal through his predictive talents, the future of men. In late antiquity, it was also referred to as the god of the sun, superseding Helios in his “functions” of “the bearer of light”. Apollo is the illegitimate son of Zeus and Leto (protector of technology). The “Apollo del Belvedere” so called because he was exposed for a long time in the Vatican Belvedere courtyard, is a marble sculpture (a copy of the original in Bronze created by the Greek sculptor Leocare) dating back to the post-Hellenistic period and found in Anzio towards the end of 1400. The two-foot and twenty-four-inch high work portrays Apollo after killing Snape, a snake dragon, born from the mud of the Diluvio Universale Who possessed the oracle of Delphi, priestess to whom the winning god attributed the name of Pizia (pitonessa). The deity is depicted by the author as a young man, by the tonic body still in tension after the muscular effort of the confrontation, the glance that runs along his arm stretched to the hand that held the bow, from which he shot the dead arrow . The hair is, in part, harvested from an orphaned strophium, a symbol of belonging to the world of gods, while a coat covers his right shoulder and is held in his swinging by his stretched arm on which he leans. The Apollo del Belvedere, not much considered by the artists’ world in the period when the Vatican courtyard ornamented since the middle of the eighteenth century, was instead indicated as the absolute model of aesthetic perfection and masterpiece of world art.