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Print - Statua del Gladiator Moribondo

Statua del Gladiator Moribondo

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Italy (possibly, made)
    France (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1780-1792 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rossi, Andrea (print-maker)
    Angeletti, Pietro (draughtsman)
    Piranesi, Francesco (author)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    engraving on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by the Reverend Alexander Dyce

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 1, case CA1

Towards the end of the 18th century many intellectuals, artists and architects began to look to the classical world for inspiration. This would manifest itself in the style of art, fashion and architecture subsequently known as neo-classicism – a revival of austere, moralistic, simple classical forms after the decadence of the Baroque. This print not only shows how the neo-classical style drew on art from the classical world but also how the people of the time were concerned with the depiction of the human figure as a moral and heroic subject. The print was made by the relatively unknown Venetian artist Andrea Rossi. He worked in the manner of the more famous engraver Marco Pitteri, using repeated parallel lines that are emphasised according to whether they represent darker or lighter areas, replacing the more traditional method of cross hatching. This technique heightens the linearity of the print, a feature of neo-classical design. The austerity of the monochrome, with no features distracting from the nobility of the idealised, heroic, male nude, is also a typical neo-classical characteristic. The writings of the theorist Johann Joachim Wincklemann informed how many viewed classical Greek and Roman statues. He urged his reader to admire the ‘Noble Simplicity and Quiet Grandeur’ of sculpture such as this. This print formed part of an album made in France of prints after famous and admired antique sculptures. The inscription beneath the image describes the location of the sculpture in the Capitoline museum in Rome and hints at the debate of the time concerning the subject of the statue. The statue was originally known as the Dying Gladiator but is now called the Dying Gaul because of the distinctive moustache and haircut of the figure, features that are associated with Gallic tribes. The print is dedicated to a Mr. Patrick Lawless, a diplomat living in Paris. He is referred to as a ‘grand lover of the fine arts’ indicating that a print like this boosted the status and standing of those connected to it with its neo-classical ideals of beauty, morality and heroism.

Physical description

The image shows the figure of nude man lying on the ground supported by his right arm

Place of Origin

Italy (possibly, made)
France (possibly, made)


1780-1792 (made)


Rossi, Andrea (print-maker)
Angeletti, Pietro (draughtsman)
Piranesi, Francesco (author)

Materials and Techniques

engraving on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Statua del Gladiator moribondo, che si conserva nel Museo Capitolino.
Alcuni dicono, che rappresenta Antemocrito Banditore, o Araldo degli Ateniesi, che fu ucciso dai Megaresi, ed a cui secondo
Pausaria nel Lib. I.pag. 88 fù eretta una Statua vicino ad Elide.
Al Sig.r Patrizio Lawless Cavaliere Inglese grand Amatore dell belle. Arti
Cav.Franco Piranesi D.D.D.
Inscription printed in ink below the image

Pietro Angeletti disegno
Printed below the image on the left hand side

Andrea Rossi scolpi
Printed below the image on the right hand side


Height: 451 mm, Width: 633 mm

Descriptive line

'Statua del Gladiator Moribondo'; engraving by Andrea Rossi after a drawing by Pietro Angeletti; plate from 'Choix des Meilleures Statues Antiques' by Francesco Piranesi; Italy or France; 1780-1792

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

DYCE COLLECTION. A Catalogue of the Paintings, Miniatures, Drawings, Engravings, Rings and Miscellaneous Objects Bequeathed by The Reverend Alexander Dyce. London : South Kensington Museum : Printed by G.E. Eyre and W. Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1874.

Production Note

From 'Choix des Meilleures Statues Antiques'. For other illustrations of the same work, see DYCE.1743-49.


Paper; Printing ink



Subjects depicted

Gladiator; Man




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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