The Farnese Atlas is a 2nd-century Roman marble copy of a Hellenistic sculpture of Atlas kneeling with the celestial spheres, not a globe, weighing heavily on his shoulders. It is the oldest extant statue of the Titan of Greek mythology, who is represented in earlier vase-painting, and more important, the oldest known representation of the celestial sphere. The sculpture is at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, in Italy. It stands seven feet tall, and the globe is 65 cm in diameter.
The name Farnese Atlas reflects its acquisition by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in the early 16th century, and its subsequent exhibition in the Villa Farnese.
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