The god Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto, and the brother of Artemis. He was the god of music and poetry, and was also closely associated with the sun. The centre for his worship was based at Delphi, where he was supposed to have slain Python, the dragon who guarded the oracle there. Apollo subsequently undertook the protection of the oracle himself and occasionally passed on the skill of divination to others. His amorous liasons with both nymphs and with mortal women were numerous indeed, as were the offspring of these encounters. He is credited with being the father of, among others, Orpheus, Asclepius (the god of medicine), Troilus and Pythagoras.
This replica has been moulded from a bronze head once owned by the Dukes of Devonshire. Originally part of a full- length statue it was found at Tamassos on Cyprus, and dates from around 470-460 BC. It is one of the few pieces of bronze sculpture to have survived from this period so it is of great importance.