The present bronzes are reductions of the monumental grey-black marble centaurs which were excavated together at Hadrian's Villa in December 1736. They owe their name to Monsignor Giuseppe Alessandro Furietti, in charge of the excavations at Tivoli. The centaurs were extensively restored, and have been recorded in their present condition as early as 1738-39. Forming the pièces de resistance
of Furietti's collection, he refused to sell them, even when pressured by the then Pope Benedict XIV. It is said that the Pope was so enraged by this slight, that he refused to promote Furietti to the rank of Cardinal. However, after Furietti's death, Pope Clement XIII did secure them for the Capitoline Museum, where they remain to this day. Bronze reductions of the famous centaurs were very much in vogue amongst the Grand Tour travellers of the 18th century, and both Righetti and Zoffoli cast reductions.
F. Haskell and N. Penny, Taste and the Antique, The Lure of Classical Sculpture, 1500-1900, London, 1982, pp. 176-9