In this scene from ancient Greek mythology, the god Vulcan is resting from his labours as a blacksmith. Venus, his wife and the goddess of love, has begged him to forge weapons to protect her illegitimate son, Aeneas of Troy, whose descendants would later found Rome. Vulcan looks like he’s having second thoughts. (It’s complicated; read Virgil’s Aeneid).
The body may look heroic (at least in its references to classical antiquity), but the twist in the pose and the flowing hair makes him seem more like real living flesh than marble.
I am also very impressed by the composition. If you draw diagonal lines from the corners and the mid-points (an exercise called finding the armature of a rectangle), you’ll see how things line up nicely. The main angles of the model’s pose align with those diagonals. Notice too where the diagonals intersect, especially at the elbow.
Even the position of the forehead and the height of the left hand follow a two/fifths design pattern (where the space is divided into fifths and the key lines are at 2/5).
I can only imagine the number of preparatory drawings required — not to mention that of the artist and model –to create this composition!