Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
After Skopas, Greek (active mid 4th century BCE)
Head from a Reversed Copy of the Skopasian Meleager, after a Greek original c. 340 BC
Work Type
head, sculpture
c. 150 CE
Roman Imperial period, Middle
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
33 cm h x 23 cm w x 25 cm d (13 x 9 1/16 x 9 13/16 in.)
B.A.G. Fuller. From his collection.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Van Rensselaer Fund for the Collection of Classical Antiquities
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

Head from a Reversed Copy of the Skopasian Meleager

The surfaces are rough. Nose, lips, and end of the lower part of the chin are missing.

The head is turned and tilted very slightly to its right. The condition of the surfaces contributes to the head's air of wildness when compared with that of the Forbes-Webster statue of Meleager (1926.48). The pronounced carving in the hair, around the eyes, and between the lips add to this overall appearance.

Since the copy of the Meleager attributed to Skopas in the Berlin Museum was found in the same Roman villa at Santa Marinella as the Forbes-Webster copy, it is understandable that an Antonine decorator or collector would go one step further and commission a copy in mirror reversal. This was done for other popular copies after famous statues of the fourth century BC, notably the Weary Herakles after Lysippos (Vermeule, C., 1980 pp. 328-329). Such pairs of statues were set around pools in gymnasia, in the niches of baths (such as the Roman bath at Perge), or in the scene buildings of large Roman theaters in the tradition of the structure named for Herodes Atticus in Athens.

Cornelius Vermeule and Amy Brauer

Publication History

George H. Chase, "The Meleager in the Fogg Museum and Related Works in America", The Art Bulletin (1917), no. 3, p. 113, fig. 3

George M. A. Hanfmann, An Exhibition of Ancient Sculpture, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1950), no. 54

Cornelius C. Vermeule III, Museum of Fine Arts Bulletin 65, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1967), pp. 175, 177, fig. 2

Cornelius C. Vermeule III, "Graeco-Roman Statues: Purpose and Setting", The Burlington Magazine (1968), vol. CX, no. 787, p. 555

Herbert D. Hoffmann, Collecting Greek Antiquities, C. N. Potter (New York, NY, 1971), p. 28, fig. 28

Cornelius C. Vermeule III, Greek Sculpture and Roman Taste, University of Michigan Press (Ann Arbor, MI, 1977), p. 33

Cornelius C. Vermeule III, Greek and Roman Sculpture in America, University of California Press (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, 1981), p. 83, no. 53

John Griffiths Pedley and Elaine Gazda, Greek Sculpture in Transition, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, 1981), Checklist, no. 3

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. 46, no. 31

Exhibition History

Greek Sculpture in Transition, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, 01/29/1981 - 04/19/1981

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