Marble; H. 26 3/4 in. (67.9 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1991 (1991.11.8)
In this relief, the messenger god Hermes wears a short cloak pinned at his shoulder and holds his identifying attribute, a herald's staff. The figure is represented in the archaistic style, a retrospective manner that incorporated characteristics of Archaic Greek art of the sixth century B.C. into newly created figures and compositions. The style flourished from the late second century B.C. onward, fulfilling a demand for decorative Neo-Attic art. This particular image of Hermes, attested in at least eight other archaistic reliefs, is extracted from a well-known and much copied composition showing a procession of four gods: Hermes, Athena, Apollo, and Artemis.