- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Late Archaic Helmeted Head of a Young God, Goddess or Warrior, possible forgery
- Work Type
- sculpture, head
- possibly c. 510-500 BCE
- Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Attica
- Archaic period
- Persistent Link
- Physical Descriptions
- actual: 24.1 cm (9 1/2 in.)
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of David M. Robinson
- 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
14 Late Archaic
Helmeted Head of a Young God, Goddess (Athena?), or Warrior
The piece is limestone, rather than poor Parian marble as first published. It is corroded, damaged, and weathered, and the nose is partly missing. A portion of the lower part of the chin has been broken and reattached. Some evidence suggests that the head was artficially corroded in a fire. The piece is evidently unfinished.
Material and parallels would suggest that this head came from a monument on the island of Cyprus. There is ample precedent for "upgrading" Cypriote sculpture by supplying provenances in the Peloponnesus or the Aegean islands.
However, if technical evidence is confirmed, this head is a forgery made in the early part of the 20th century after the sculptures found in the German excavations around the Temple of Aphaia on Aegina.
A group of figures of the young, beardless Herakles, with the lion's skin on the head instead of the helmet, come from the Idalion region of Cyprus and have the same style of hair, face and eyes, as well as the same Ionian cast to the mouth (Pryce, 1931, pp. 85-97, figs. 139-140). An especially close example, with finely carved eyelids and with a better preserved face emerging from the hero's lion skin cap, was long in the de Clercq collection in Paris and lately in that of Mr. Gilbert Denman, Jr., San Antonio. Its superlative Ionian style dates this head of Herakles about 510 BC (Hoffmann, 1970, pp. 8-11, under no. 3).
Cornelius Vermeule and Amy Brauer
- Publication History
David Moore Robinson, "Unpublished Sculpture in the Robinson Collection", American Journal of Archaeology (1955), 59, pp. 19-20, p. 11, figs. 2,3
Fogg Art Museum, The David Moore Robinson Bequest of Classical Art and Antiquities, A Special Exhibition, exh. cat., Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, 1961), p. 27, no. 208
Karina Turr, Falschungen antiker Plastic siet 1800, Mann (Berlin, Germany, 1984), pp. 85-88, no. A 26
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. 27, no. 14
- Exhibition History
The David Moore Robinson Bequest of Classical Art and Antiquities: A Special Exhibition, Fogg Art Museum, 05/01/1961 - 09/20/1961
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 email@example.com