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Castor and Pollux – Ildefonso Group

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Castor and Pollux – Ildefonso Group – Life-size cast bronze sculptures

The Castor and Pollux Group (also known as the San Ildefonso Group, after San Ildefonso in Segovia, Spain, the site of the palace of La Granja, where it was kept until 1839) is an ancient Roman sculptural group from the 1st century AD that is considered one of the most outstanding examples of Neo-Ascetic eclecticism. The location of the group is unknown, but it was first documented in the first half of the 17th century as part of Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi’s famous collection of antiquities. The statue group is now in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
Our online shop offers a replica based on the plaster cast of the original statue from the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Although the marble sculpture shows strong influences from Greek sculptures from the 5th and 4th centuries BC, it does not copy a single known Greek work. The group shows two idealised naked youths, both wearing laurel wreaths. The young men are leaning against each other, and to their left is a small female figure on an altar, which is generally interpreted as a statue of a female deity. She is holding a sphere, which is variously interpreted as an egg or a pomegranate.
The identification of the two figures is disputed, but is generally accepted today as a depiction of Castor and Pollux. The left figure (when facing the sculpture) was originally headless when discovered, but was restored by Ippolito Buzzi in the collection of Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi in the 17th century, when interpretative restorations were common. A bust of Antinous from the Hadrianic period (ca. 130) was used for the restoration, which corresponds to the type of Apollo Antinous and comes from another statue.
The group is now considered to be Castor and Pollux offering a sacrifice to Persephone. This identification is based on the figure on the right holding two torches, one facing downwards (on a flower-decorated altar) and one facing upwards (behind the back), and on the identification of the female sphere as an egg (like the one from which the Dioscuri were born). This interpretation was supported by Goethe, who owned a cast of the group.
In Greek and Roman mythology, Castor and Pollux (or Castor and Polydeukos) were twin brothers known together as the Dioscuri. Their mother was Leda, but they had different fathers: Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, king of Sparta, while Pollux was the divine son of Zeus, who seduced Leda in the form of a swan.

The Ildefonso group was copied many times from the 17th century onwards in various materials (marble, bronze, cast iron, porcelain), with varying sizes (the original is 161 cm high). Copies can be found in the staircase of Goethe’s residence in Weimar and next to the entrance to the study centre of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library. Replicas are also in the park Sanssouci, Charlottenburg Palace, Neustrelitz Palace Park, the palace parks of Versailles and Sceaux in France and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


Antique statue, cast bronze in museum quality

The sculpture is produced as a bronze casting using the traditional lost wax technique. The basis for the negative mould required for this is a plaster cast of the original in Madrid.

Cast marble & marble sculpture from the sculptor

In addition to classic bronze casting, we also offer two other moulds for the statues shown here. Marble casting from powdered genuine white marble. And the new moulding of the statue by sculptors from a single block of white marble. If you are interested in such a mould, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to receiving your e-mail or phone call.

Patinating the life-size cast bronze sculptures

Patination marks the final step in the finishing process of a bronze statue. The patina simulates the natural oxidation process that causes the bronze to weather differently over time, depending on the environmental influences on the copper alloy. We have various patina recipes in our repertoire, including one that corresponds well to the patina of preserved antique bronze statues. We will be happy to provide you with samples of suitable patinas in advance.

Individualisation of the statue

Each statue cast by us is engraved in the base with a serial number, date of manufacture and our company logo. The base is also engraved with your name, a lettering, the occasion of production, your own company logo or additional engraving as required.

Your very personal legacy

The life-size cast bronze replicas that you can buy from us online are therefore not only artistic replicas, but also timeless memories that will preserve your legacy for generations to come. By engraving your name, the date and the occasion on the base, this statue becomes an everlasting symbol of your most personal life achievement, your significance in this world and your work there.

Memory cast in bronze in the radiant light of antiquity

Ancient Greek bronze statues and their masterfully crafted Roman marble replicas were the sensual and visual mirror of these two advanced civilisations for over a millennium. After their rediscovery during the Renaissance, these statues once again became world-famous and symbolised the emergence of modernity. And so, the exhibition for you and with your In keeping with the ancient traditions of Delphi and Rome, a statue made in your name as donor will forever commemorate your personality and achievements.

Locations for the installation of ancient statues & list of parks with ancient sculptures

Antique statues are hardly available in the original. Since their rediscovery in the Renaissance, expensive replicas have been made for castles, their parks and also for the mansions of the wealthy bourgeoisie. During this period, a canon for the installation and placement of these works of art was created that developed into the modern era. Here you will find an overview of particularly beautiful locations for antique statues. We also offer you an overview of some publicly accessible gardens and parks, each of which has an impressive collection of ancient sculptures. With specific details of which statues can be seen where. Go travelling, let yourself be inspired!

Product details

Castor and Pollux - Ildefonso Group
Item No.S43
MaterialBronze cast
dimension (height x width x depth)161 cm x 106 cm x 56 cm
What you receiveSingle piece, Bronze cast. The exact design details, measurements and weight as well as the structure and colour of the Bronze cast may vary.
DeliveryDelivered using our own van
Delivery ChargeFree delivery in England and Wales (except islands) and to a few EU countries. Click here for details.
Price incl. VAT