Copy of a Greek statue of the mid-2nd century B.C. Seated; fragmentary. Perhaps portrait statue of poet or philosopher; copy Greek original 2nd century B.C.
For the ancient Greeks, it was important to represent the entire figure in a portrait, not just the head as became popular in the Roman period. Although the head of this Roman copy is missing, the turn of the upper body to the left, the three holes beneath the left shoulder, and the angular hollow at the inner side of the left arm suggest that the figure was playing the kithara and consequently, is best identified as a poet. It may be a retrospective portrait of one of the great Greek poets of the Hellenistic age, such as Kallimachos or Theokritos, or perhaps one of the legendary bards of earlier days portrayed in Hellenistic style. On the front of the seat, above the left foot, is the signature of the sculptor Zeuxis. He must have been one of the many copyists of the Roman period who attached their signatures to their works.
Inscription: "Zeuxis made it"
1903, found at the Villa Patrizi, Via Nomentana, Rome
Until 1907, collection of Enrichetta Castellani, Rome; until 1909, collection of Joachim Ferroni, Rome; acquired in 1909, purchased through Jandolo and Tavazzi.
1909. Catalogue de la Vente après Décès de Mr. Joachim Ferroni, Apr. 14-22, 1909.. no. 756, p. 74, pl. 50.
Robinson, Edward. 1910. "Department of Classical Art: The Accessions of 1909--V Conclusion." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5(10): pp. 234–35, fig. 2.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 240, fig. 147, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 212, 278, 280, fig. 197, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 212, 278, 280, fig. 197, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1950. The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, 3rd edn. pp. 108, 146, 457, 499, figs. 339, 445, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 143, 284, pl. 124a, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 190, pp. 99–100, pl. 133, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Haff, Ralf von den. 1994. Philosophenporträts des Früh- und Hochhellenismus, Biering and Brinkmann, ed. p. 46 n. 31, München.
Bodel, John P. and Stephen Tracy. 1997. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist. p. 191, Rome: The American Academy in Rome.
Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 254, pp. 218, 454, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Zanker, Paul. 2016. Roman Portraits: Sculptures in Stone and Bronze in the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 14, pp. 13, 51–53, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.