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The Borghese Gladiator

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Comments (48)

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Steve Paxton on January 2, 2010

No jokes but just beautiful mate i only wish i was there i recon this is just magnificent first page.reminds me of Sams page with the lavender and poppies. steve

Jim Evans (AXOTA) on January 2, 2010

To meet you some day would be wonderful steve111, there's a few pints standing for just that event ;>))

My photo viewer

Best wishes good bud!!


Marcello Mento on January 3, 2010

A great shot, I like very much. Ciao, Marcello

picsonthemove on January 3, 2010

Hello Jim,

a special mood, resulting from the light and the therefore reduced colors - one of my rare Y.*



Jim Evans (AXOTA) on January 3, 2010

Hi guys ;>)'s good to see you both!! now here's something to amuse you and test your powers of observation....there were three people in the picture who resisted all my efforts to make them go away...finally, I took the shot, then sent them to oblivion in photoshop!!

Marcello Mento... Marcello come sempre, la vostra visita e omaggio prezioso è molto apprezzato;>)

picsonthemove~~~~good to see you pics, especially just here on one of my artistic efforts ;>) I rarely take photos of art works, believing that these are best seen in the correct context... their actual location!!

I'm quite overwhelmed by your generous appraisal...that YS means a great deal to me..thank you ;>)

Kind regards to you both ;>)


Amelia Royan on January 3, 2010

Bottoms up dear Jim - clear cut and stunning!!!!

Cheers for the UK still, Amelia

Maja Go on January 5, 2010

Excellent and very original photo! Very clear as a nice snow! :))) Best greetings! Maya

Paula K on January 5, 2010

Haha! I bet he was frozen solid Jim!! You could have lent him a jumper!! ;-D


gezginruh on January 6, 2010

So very interesting!!! Cheers. GGR

SlobaSerb on January 6, 2010

This is very unusual and special photo. This is real proof that at any time and anywhere can be a special photo taken, regardless of weather conditions.

My best regards.

Gabor Retei on January 6, 2010

Hello Jim, great shot. The snow ads a new "layer" to this picture. It is just fantastic!

Greetings, Gabe

Jim Evans (AXOTA) on January 7, 2010

There were three others appearing on stage here with the gladiator...I zapped them in photoshop!!

Well I'm pleasantly surprised by your wonderful comments and delighted you took the time to stop by ;>)

Amelia Royan


Paula K



Gabor Retei


Best wishes to you all ;>)


Edmundo Rodríguez Pr… on January 16, 2010

A great composition Jim, the "white back gladiator". So must felt Napoleon when he decided to return from Russia... The scene has a surreal character. I will leave some to see another day. Best wishes to you, Edmundo

Jim Evans (AXOTA) on January 17, 2010


Bruce da Moose~~~~thanks for your perceptive remarks Bruce...I think that the harsh light and snowy effects added another dimension to what was otherwise quite a boring shot ;>)

Rodríguez Prati...your thoughtful comments are much appreciated for it being surreal...I'm glad you think so...I saw this unusual feature also ;>)

Kind regards to you both ;>)


Zsuzsanna Bánfalvi on January 25, 2010


Jim Evans (AXOTA) on January 30, 2010

Bánfalvi Suzi Natusk...Greetings Natuska~~~I am delighted to see that you have visited my gallery many times since I last wrote to you!! You know, it is always a great pleasure to read your lovely messages...I am happy that this image pleased you Natuska...I rarely take photos of statues/public art but I could not resist shooting the unsuspecting gladiator... from behind ;>)

Warm wishes my dear friend ;>)


AnnaJolanta 1 on January 31, 2010

He has already frozen :)

Beatriz Barreto Tane… on February 2, 2010

I like.

Jim Evans (AXOTA) on February 2, 2010

HE ONCE stood casting his eye over the Whitby Abbey Headland with his shield and sword at the ready, but a few hundred years ago, he mysteriously disappeared ;>(

This life-sized gladiator is, once again, proudly standing guard near the entrance to Whitby Abbey in front of the former banqueting house.

English Heritage has re-cast a bronze Borghese Gladiator which historians believe once stood in front of what is now the Abbey Visitor Centre, built by Sir Hugh Cholmley II in the 17th Century.

One of Britain's foremost conservators, Rupert Harris of London, was commissioned to create the lifesize figure from a mould taken from a bronze of the same model in the Royal Collection.

The gladiator stands with a shield in one hand and a thrusting sword in the other.

The statue is set to create a buzz around Whitby and it promises to be a testament to the town's history – something Jeremy Reed, English Heritage's operations director in the north, feels strongly about.

He said: "This fascinating project is a reminder that Whitby Abbey's history did not stop when the monastery came to an end.

"Thanks to the £5.7m Whitby Headland Project, we have been able to unearth a wealth of information about the post-dissolution period, when Sir Hugh Cholmley brought glamour to the Abbey Headland with his new house, works of art and cobbled gardens.

"Restoring the gladiator in the centre of the courtyard will set the seal on a decade of work to restore the Abbey Headland's glory."

The original Borghese statue was first uncovered during excavations in Italy sometime before 1611 and was signed by the sculptor Agasias of Ephesus, dated about 100BC, but it was probably based on a much earlier Greek original.

Soon after it entered the collection of the Pope's powerful aide, Cardinal Borghese, acquiring its modern name of the Borghese Gladiator.

Today it stands in The Louvre in Paris.

But a copy of the original came to stand on the Abbey Headland thanks to nobleman Sir Hugh Cholmley II who had his own cast made to follow the trends of his peers at the time.

It had gained iconic status, especially among the wealthy with James I and Charles I both buying moulds of the statue which began to appear in classical gardens including Castle Howard

Not be outdone, Sir Hugh, whose family fortune was based on the east coast alum trade, paid for his own figure to be made. Cast in bronze, it would have been a work of the highest quality and a statement of ambition, wealth and power.

Although historians and archaeologists have pieced together the evidence for the Whitby gladiator they have failed to solve one mystery – what became of Cholmley's original statue?

The casting of the bronze figure used the same technique employed to create King Charles' 17th Century Borghese figure while skilled masons at William Anelay Ltd in York, created the stone plinth on which the gladiator now stands, looking out over the North Sea.

Anna Jolanta

Beatriz Barreto Tane…

Many thanks for stopping by ;>)


picsonthemove on February 2, 2010

Thanks a lot Jim,

for this extensive explanaition



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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 2, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Jim Evans (AXOTA)
    • Camera: NIKON E8700
    • Exposure: 0.006s
    • Focal Length: 27.30mm
    • F/Stop: f/2.828
    • ISO Speed: ISO50
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash