Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta statuette of the Diadoumenos (youth tying a fillet around his head)

1st century B.C.
11 7/16in. (29cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1932
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 164
Copy of a Greek bronze statue of ca. 430 B.C. by Polykleitos

Connoisseurship and the origins of the discipline of art history began in the Hellenistic period. Greek statues of the fifth century B.C., notably works by Polykleitos, Phidias, and others, were sought out and frequently replicated. The pose of the famous statue of the Diadoumenos by Polykleitos is recognizable in this statuette, but the slender, graceful forms conform to Late Hellenistic taste.

Although terracotta was one of the most abundantly available and inexpensive materials of sculptural production in antiquity, it was used to make miniature copies less widely than might be expected. Apparently, only a few centers of production concentrated on this sculptural genre, and those that did limited their choices of subject considerably. The Greek city of Smyrna on the west coast of Asia Minor was among the most important copying centers, and a number of large- and small-scale replicas or variations of well-known statuary types, from both the Classical and Hellenistic periods, were made there.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1932. "A Greek Terracotta Statuette." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 27(12): pp. 249–53.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936[1934]. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1950. The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, 3rd edn. pp. 249–50, 569, fig. 651, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 98, 239, 305 n. 47, pl. 79a, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1978. Antichnoe iskusstvo iz muzeia Metropoliten, Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki: Katalog vystavki. no. 44, pl. 9, Moscow: Sovetskii Khudozhnik.

Picón, Carlos A. 1995. "Polykleitan and Related Sculptures in American Collections: Recent Acquisitions." Polykleitos, the Doryphoros, and Tradition, Warren G. Moon, ed. pp. 229, 244 n. 5, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Abramitis, Dorothy H. 1997. "Statue of an Old Woman: A Case Study in the Effects of Restorations on the Visual Aspect of Sculpture." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 55(3): p. 32.

Herrmann, John and Christine Kondoleon. 2004. Games for the Gods: The Greek Athlete and the Olympic Spirit. no. 153, pp. 147, 190, Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 253, pp. 217, 454, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Rous, Isabelle Hasselin, Ludovic Laugier, and Jean-Luc Martinez. 2009. D'Izmir à Smyrne: découverte d'une cité antique. no. 56, pp. 126, 130, 134–35, Musée du Louvre.

LaGamma, Alisa. 2011. Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures. pp. 8–9, fig. 5, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

de Puma, Richard Daniel. 2013. Etruscan Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 316, New Haven and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Picón, Carlos A. and Seán Hemingway. 2016. Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World no. 61, pp. 60, 154–55, fig. 72, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Karoglou, Kyriaki. 2016. "The Collection of Greek Terracotta Figurines at The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Les Carnets de l’ACoSt, 14: pp. 6–7, n. 36 [p.8], fig. 11.

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