Here is how I discussed this artwork in 2013 :
With Polycletus and Phidias, the Greek art got disinterested about gods to better represent the human. Looking for an extreme realism, Polycletus showed the naked man in his whole strength and no shame.
The man of Polycletus is usually standing in a flexible attitude. For the first time, the correct proportions are based on a numerical model. The muscles are perfect.
The Romans were great lovers of sculpture. Their creations are often original, as in the portraits of emperors and the scenes with children. Roman copies provide valuable and often unique information about Greek art.
The lot for sale is a marble torso of a powerful athlete. This larger than life statue 94 cm high is a Roman copy made 1900 years ago. The head and limbs are missing but the position of shoulders and hips leads to compare this work with the art of Polycletus.
This torso was featured for many years in the living room of Yves Saint-Laurent, where beyond a possible homosexual appeal it certainly was a reminder to a bygone era when full male nudity was not taboo in major arts. With this outstanding pedigree, it was sold € 1.3 million including premium at Christie's in February 2009 over a lower estimate of € 300K.