19th Century bronze figure of “The Dying Gaul”
A superb quality 19th Century French bronze figure of “The Dying Gaul” (The Dying Gladiator) supported on an oval bronze base. Circa 1870.
The Dying Gaul or The Dying Gladiator, is an ancient Roman marble copy of a lost Hellenistic sculpture, thought to have been originally executed in bronze, the original may have been commissioned some time between 230 and 220 BC by Attalus I of Pergamon to celebrate his victory over the Galatians, the Celtic or Gaulish people of parts of Anatolia (modern Turkey). The identity of the sculptor of the original is unknown, but it has been suggested that Epigonus, a court sculptor of the Attalid dynasty of Pergamon, may have been the creator.
The copy was most commonly known as The Dying Gladiator until the 20th century on the assumption that it depicted a wounded gladiator in a Roman amphitheatre. Scholars had identified it as a Gaul or Galatian by the mid-19th century, but it took many decades for the new title to achieve popular acceptance.