Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Attic Bearded Head from a Grave Relief
Work Type
sculpture, head
380 BCE or later
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Attica
Classical period, Late
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Pentelic marble
actual: 20.32 x 15 cm (8 x 5 7/8 in.)
Charles L. Morley to Frederick M. Watkins, 1949; Bequest to the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 1972.

In addition, a handwritten note in the 1973 catalogue written by David Mitten quotes a March 5, 1973 letter from Dietrich von Bothmer: "This fragment belonged to delle Seta and was sold by his widow to Morley in 1949."
[Andreya Mihaloew 4/28/2008]
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Frederick M. Watkins
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Published Catalogue Text: Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums , written 1990

Bearded Head

The bridge of the nose is chipped away, and there is damage elsewhere, especially at the beard on the subject's lower right cheek.

This head from an Attic grave relief is turned to its left, and the youngish man may have been gazing slightly downward, at a seated figure. This Athenian head has traditional elements in common with the heroes and priests or magistrates from the East Frieze of the Parthenon, but the complete work would have shown an Attic Stele in the conservative or revivalist style of the fourth century B.C.

On a stele in the Piraeus Museum (no. 386), Hippomachos stands at the left, extending his right hand to old Kallias who is seated to the left on an elegant chair. This monument has been placed in a group dated around 380 BC, or very slightly later (Diepolder, 1931, p. 39, pl. 23). The man on the left (Hippomachos) leans slightly forward toward his seated companion, presumably his old father. Hair, rough beard, and face made to appear flat and round with large-lidded eyes and thick, parted lips of Hippomachos are all details that are exactly like those of the Watkins-Harvard head. Indeed, it would seem this head came from a similar stele, probably carved by the same sculptor. Jiří Frel has named him "Le sculpteur de Chairedemos,” after the famous (two) walking-warrior relief of Chairedemos and Lykeas, also in the Piraeus Museum (no. 385) (Frel, 1969, pp. 23, 59, pl. VIII). This stele was carved at the end of the fifth century B.C., thus forming the transition between the Athenian worlds before her final defeat by Sparta and the new vistas opened by the Macedonian attacks on the declining Persian Empire.

Cornelius Vermeule and Amy Brauer

Publication History

Giovanni Becatti, Problemi fidiaci, Electa (Milan, Italy, 1951), pp. 13-15, pl. 2, figs. 2, 3

Ancient Art in American Private Collections, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1954), p. 27, no. 147, pl. 37.

Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum Annual Report, 1971-1972 (Cambridge, MA, 1973), p. 84

The Frederick M. Watkins Collection, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1973), p. 76, no. 31

Brunilde S. Ridgway, "I. General, 2. Aids and Collective Publications", Fasti Archaeologici, Annual Bulletin of Classical Archaeology, International Associaton of Classical Archaeology (Florence, Italy, 1979), under no. 1143

Cornelius C. Vermeule III and Amy Brauer, Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 38, no. 22

[Reproduction Only], Persephone, Vol. 11, No. 1, Spring 2011, p. 20.

Exhibition History

Ancient Art in American Private Collections, Fogg Art Museum, 12/28/1954 - 02/15/1955

The Frederick M. Watkins Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 01/31/1973 - 03/14/1973

Ancient Installation at Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, 09/30/2013 - 01/26/2015

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at