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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Ionian or East Greek Head of Kouros in Relief
Work Type
head, sculpture
c. 500 BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Philadelphia (Lydia)
Archaic period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Dolomitic marble
18.5 x 15.8 cm (7 5/16 x 6 1/4 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Said to have come from Philadelphia in Lydia.

Student Paper: Brecher, Jonathan, "Determination of the Provenance of Classical Marbles through Isotopic Analysis," 1990, Freshman Seminar. (Filed in Student Paper Storage. Restricted to staff use only).

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Norbert Schimmel
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

11 Ionian or East Greek

Head of a Kouros in Relief

The carving seems to be in unfinished condition. The marble is Dolomitic from Thasos, Saliari area, probably from the Aliki quarries (J.J. Herrmann, Jr.).

This head, in the Ionian style of the Archaic Artemision at Ephesos, comes from a semicircular monument, the drum of a column, or a votive base. Another fragment of the same monument, an East Greek Kouros of the Samian style, is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It is also unfinished (Vermeule, C., January 1971, p. 38, figs. 44-45; Comstock, Vermeule, 1976, p. 15, no. 22, 69.982).

The presumption is that the monument or group of sculptures to which these heads belonged was left unfinished on account of disturbances connected with the Ionian revolt and the Persian wars.

On the analogy of the Archaic column drums from the Artemision at Ephesos, around 540 BC, this head can be seen as coming from a thin, long-garmented figure walking from left to right on the semicircular surface (Boardman, 1978, p. 62, fig. 57; Homann-Wedeking, 1968, pp. 120-121, fig. 25). The head in Boston, however, comes from a plumper figure, akin to the men from the Geneleos base at the Heraion on Samos, dated about 560 BC (Homann-Wedeking, 1968, pp. 93-94, fig. 17).

Cornelius Vermeule and Amy Brauer

Publication History

  • Herbert D. Hoffmann, Collecting Greek Antiquities, C. N. Potter (New York, NY, 1971), p. 10, fig. 10
  • Fogg Art Museum Acquisitions, 1969-1970, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1971), p. 131
  • Cornelius C. Vermeule III, Greek and Roman Sculpture in America, University of California Press (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, 1981), p. 35, no. 10
  • 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. 25, no. 11

Verification Level

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