David is really Tony (Antinous)

Bust of Antinous in Berlin

Wrongly labeled David from Sex and the Zen of Shopping

I screwed up with the identity of my statue featured on page 18 of “Sex and the Zen of Shopping.”  I called him “David” because I couldn’t find him in my searches and wrongly pegged him as neo-romantic and christened him David because of his youth and nobility.

Truth is this is a copy of a bust of Antinous who was the lover of Hadrian, famous emperor of Rome who built the Hadrian Wall across northern England to keep the Picts out.

Antinous was Greek by birth and the story goes that Hadrian fell madly in love with him while passing through the kid’s neighborhood.  You can hardly blame him. This guy was gorgeous.

Antinous drowned in the Nile, of all places. I can’t help it. I’m writing about Egypt and I learn this!

Hadrian deified him. They did stuff like that then. Not too different than making people saints really.  He was associated with Osiris (Egypt) and Bacchus (Greco-roman) and there are statues of him all over the Roman world. Some have him portrayed as Egyptian, some Roman etc. It turns out the cult around him was huge and he was worshiped as the ideal of youthful beauty. I’d agree with that!

That he is one of the best preserved faces from antiquity is especially embarrassing for me. I do have a degree in fine arts. I have actually seen some of these works at the Louvre and the British Museum.  I think that’s why I like fiction best – you don’t have to be so darned accurate!

Here’s some more images of the beautiful Tony (Antinous):

Antinous in the Louvre

Antinous in the Louvre from Braschi collection

Louvre Bust of Antinous as Osiris from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli

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