This fine statue has been supposed to represent Germanicus, son of Drusus and Antonia. The style of hair indicates indeed a Roman personage; but it cannot be this prince, for the medals and other monuments we have of him represent him very differently. A more attentive examination of this figure discovers an analogy with that of Mercury; the extended position of the right arm, the "chlamys" thrown over the left, which holds the caduceus, and rests on a tortoise, consecrated to this god as the inventor of the harp, favor this idea. but a more reasonable conjecture may perhaps be admitted, that, under these forms, and with the attributes of the god of eloquence, the ingenious artist has pourtrayed a Roman orator, celebrated for his success in the rostrum. [P. 11.]
Account of Statues, Busts, &c. in the Collection of the Academy of Arts. New-York: Printed at the Office of the Morning Chronicle. 1803.