The Sleeping Hermaphroditus is a Roman sculpture from the 2nd century AD after a Hellenistic original.
In the body of Hermaphroditus, the male of father Hermes and the female of mother Aphrodite coexist harmoniously. Indeed, its dual nature expresses conciliation beyond opposites. The young and sinuous body is stretched out on a feline skin that the sculptor skilfully manages to reproduce in detail.
Praised by Michelangelo himself, it is undoubtedly one of the most sensual works of antiquity.
Ovid in his Metamorphoses tells about the transformation of this extraordinary being.
In history, hermaphrodites were revered as superior creatures endowed with both sexes, celebrated as divinities beyond any gender conflicts.