1st century BC
This relic of a Greek statue was an overnight sensation when it was dug up in Rome in the early 16th century. Its most passionate fan was Michelangelo, who found a mirror image of his own intense charcoal drawings of male backs. It helped him see the pathos of the broken, in which he exults in his deliberately unfinished statues of Prisoners. It is still echoed in the male nudes of Mapplethorpe and Freud. The Belvedere Torso reveals that ancient Greek artists portrayed not only the perfect heroic body, but also the body suffering, tragic, heaving with pathos.