5. The Famous Boy with Thorn Sculpture

Tucked along the edge of the garden is a small sculpture of a little boy pulling a thorn from his foot. This sculpture is one of the many pieces in the garden’s array of artwork. The statue is a replica of the Boy with Thorn (Spinario), a marble sculpture now in the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. The piece in the Uffizi is from Greece and is estimated to have been created in the 1st century BC.

A boy pulling a thorn from his foot became a popular symbol in ancient art. The imagery traveled to Rome where it took on the identity of Ascanius, according to the gallery, the founder of the dynasty of Julius and Augustus Caesar. Many replicas of the early Grecian and Roman sculptures were made including a bronze version that was found in the 12th century, and the sculpture found in the Elizabeth Street Garden.