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Marble head of Epikouros

Period:
Imperial
Date:
2nd century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble, Pentelic
Dimensions:
19 5/8 × 9 3/4 × 11 1/2 in. (49.8 × 24.8 × 29.2 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1911
Accession Number:
11.90
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
Copy of a Greek statue of the 1st half of the 3rd century B.C.

Born on the island of Samos in 341 B.C., Epikouros spent most of his life in Athens, where he founded the Kepos (Garden), one of the most influential philosophical schools of the Hellenistic age, and where he lived until his death in 271 B.C. Epikouros must have been honored by a portrait statue made late in his lifetime or soon after his death. The esteem in which his teachings were held is shown by the numerous Roman copies, including a bust and a herm still bearing the inscriptions identifying him, that reproduce the same original. From other copies, we know that the original statue, which was probably first set up in the Kepos to honor Epikouros, represented him seated calmly and classically composed on an elaborate chair.
[Until 1911, with Ettore Jandolo, Rome]; acquired in 1911, purchased from E. Jandolo.
Robinson, Edward. 1911. "A Head of Epicurus." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 6(11): pp. 150, 152.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 239, fig. 146, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1925. "Recent Accessions of Ancient Marbles." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 20(4): p. 104.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 281, fig. 199, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 281, fig. 199, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Phillips, John Goldsmith. January 1940. "Heads in Sculpture: A Special Exhibition, January 17-March 3." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 35(1): pp. 3, 5.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 122, 260, pl. 100b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 186, pp. 96-97, pl. 130, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1970. "The Department of Greek and Roman Art: Triumphs and Tribulations." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 3: pp. 75, 78, fig. 7.

Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. p. 525, pl. 195d, Cambridge, England.

Haff, Ralf von den. 1994. Philosophenporträts des Früh- und Hochhellenismus, Biering and Brinkmann, ed. p. 71 n. 96, München.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 257, pp. 220, 455, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Picón, Carlos A. and Seán Hemingway. 2016. Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World no. 47, pp. 140-41, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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