RAIMONDI, Marcantonio
(b. ca. 1480, Bologna, d. ca. 1534, Bologna)

Apollo Citharoedus of the Casa Sassi

Engraving, 313 x 144 mm
British Museum, London

This engraving was made after a Roman copy of a Hellenistic sculpture representing Apollo with his cithara or lyre. During the first half of the sixteenth century, this sculpture was in the collection of Decidio and Fabio Sassi and displayed in the courtyard of the Casa Sassi, as recorded in a drawing by Maerten van Heemskerck.

The sculpture was acquired in 1546 from Fabio Sassi by Odoardo Farnese who had the missing left arm and the lower right arm completed before 1552. Raimondi's print does not show the sculpture as he must have seen it in Rome as it was recorded by an anonymous Netherlandish artist before any restorations were undertaken: he completed Apollo's arms. It was not uncommon for artists to complete ancient sculpture when representing it.