In May 1916, the statue of Apollo, along with fragments of other statues, was found in a votive deposit broken into several pieces. These were carefully arranged in alignment with an embankment, as attested by an archive photo, suggesting the reverence afforded the statue by those who decided to bury it.
The Portonaccio statues have been attributed to the “Master of Apollo,” an artist from Veii who belonged to the last generation of clay sculptors (coroplasts) working in the circle of the famous craftsman named Vulca. Ancient sources mention the latter as the creator of the celebrated statue of Jupiter commissioned by the first Etruscan king, Tarquinius Priscus, and dedicated in the temple sacred to the Capitoline triad (ca. 580 BCE) on the Capitoline Hill in Rome.
Shortly after the creation of the Portonaccio statues, the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, commissioned two (?) quadrigas to decorate the roof of the Capitolium from the Veientine workshop of the “Master of Apollo.”