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Marble head of a goddess

Period:
Late Classical
Date:
4th century B.C.
Culture:
Greek
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
H. 21 3/4 in. (55.25 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1910
Accession Number:
10.142.1
  • Description

    In antiquity, heads were often carved separately from the statues for which they were intended. The heads were made with a convex tenon that could be set into a specially prepared cavity in the statue. The juncture was concealed by a line of drapery. This finely carved example must represent a goddess because of its colossal size. Persephone (the daughter of Demeter and wife of Hades, the god of the underworld) and Hygeia (the daughter of Asklepios, the god of medicine) were often represented with hair separated into thick coils pulled back to the top of the head and tied loosely in a knot. Such a knot was probably affixed to this head using three large holes that remain in the back.

  • Provenance

    Said to be from Taranto (Richter 1954, p. 236).

    Acquired August 20, 1910, purchased from Arthur Sambon, Paris.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 229, fig. 139.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 268-69, fig. 189.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 268-69, fig. 189.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1950. The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, 3rd edn. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 146, 499, fig. 443.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 106, 245, pl. 85b.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, no. 141, p. 79, pl. 103.

    Sobel, Hildegard. 1990. Hygieia: Die Göttin der Gesundheit. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, pl. 17b.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
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