Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Marble female herm

Early Imperial
1st century A.D.
H. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Francis Neilson, 1942
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Herms are rectangular stone shafts terminating in a head. They originated as markers surmounted with an image of the god Hermes, but by the Roman period they were no longer restricted in subject. Private villas were filled with herms showing the heads of satyrs, maenads, young athletes, or philosopher portraits. This decorative female herm would have made an appropriate garden decoration.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 101, p. 66, pls. 82a-c, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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