Roman Torso of a Youth

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Roman Torso of a Youth

1st-2nd century A.D.,
H: 82 cm



A marble statue of a youth in contrapposto position. The torso is idealised but has only softly suggested muscles, giving the impression of youth. The beginnings of the slender arms and legs further contribute to this impression, as does the languid pose which runs throughout the body.

Statues such as this draw their inspiration from those attributed to the fourth-century B.C. Athenian sculptor Praxiteles. Praxiteles was known for his languid, youthful, and sensuous male figures. He deployed a contrapposto posture, with one taut leg bearing the body’s weight and the other relaxed and bent at the knee. This produced a curve through the figure’s torso and a tilt to the hips and shoulders.


Previously in the Private Collection of Franz Trau (1881-1931) Vienna, from circa 1900. Possibly acquired by descent as part of the family collection, both his grandfather, Carl Trau (1811-1887), and his father, Franz Trau Snr (1842-1905), collected artworks including antiquities during their lifetimes.
With Mr Van der Fecht, Spittelberg, Vienna from before 1960.
Private Collection of Dr Peter Wolf, Böcklinstraße, Vienna, old master’s dealer and specialist, since before 1960, originally acquired from the above.
London art market, acquired from the above 14th August 2017 (but kept in Vienna).
Austrian art market, acquired from the above 2nd October 2023 (accompanied by Austrian export license).
ALR: S00241523, with IADAA Certificate, this item has been checked against the Interpol database.

Note on the Provenance

Franz Trau Junior (1881-1931) was an avid collector of paintings and antiquities, with a special interest in Roman coins and classical archaeology. He was the grandson of French chemist, tea merchant and art collector (Japanese and Chinese ceramics, medieval art, prints and miniatures) Carl Trau (1811-1887) and son of Franz Trau Senior (1842-1905). Franz Snr was a renowned Viennese collector of classical antiquities who enjoyed both high social standing as a member of numerous committees and as an expert in ancient art. The eclectic art collection amassed by the three generations of this family was sold off in various auctions by H. Cubasch (Vienna) and Brüder Egger (Vienna) in the 1890s/1900s and after Franz Jnr's death in the 1930s by Gilhofer & Ranschburg (Vienna) and Adolph Hess (Luzern).

Mr Van der Fecht was an antique dealer in Spittelberg, Vienna.

Prof Dr Peter Wolf is an Austrian antiques dealer and specialist in Old Master paintings. He is based in Vienna and has previously acted as the specialist consultant for Dorotheum Auction House, Vienna.