The Apollino statue, Florence. Circa 1854. Large-format, gold-toned, lightly coated salt print. 33 x 25 cm. Number 25 in lower right corner in the negative, mounted to card (some foxing), photographer's Fratelli Alinari, Fotografi Firenze, Presso Luigi Bardo blindstamp below the image on the mount.
The Apollino or Medici Apollo is a Roman copy of a Hellenistic sculpture of the youthful god Apollo. It is now in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Unlike many other antique sculptures in the Medici collection, it was not brought to Florence by Cosimo III de' Medici, but remained in Rome. Although it has since lost some of its prestige, it was praised as one of the most copied Roman sculptures until the 18th century. It was seen in the Tribuna of the Uffizi by the English poet Percy B. Shelley who commented on it: "It is difficult to imagine anything more beautiful than Ganymede; but the spirit-like lightness, the softness, the flowing perfection of the forms [of Apollino] surpass him. The countenance, though exceedingly sweet and gentle, is not divine. There is a feminine liveliness with which one gains passive happiness, and yet there is a boyish inexperience which is exceedingly attractive. An attitude to life seems to flow through the limbs, giving them lightness. Nothing can be completely more beautiful than the legs and the union of the feet with the ankles and the fading of the foot lines down to the tender extremities. It is like a spirit even in a dream. The neck is long and yet full and supports the head with its luxuriant and knotted hair, as if it did not need to be supported." – A few light surface smudges, otherwise a rich dark print in very good condition.