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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Limestone head of a bearded man

early 6th century B.C.
Overall: 35 x 14 x 23 in. (88.9 x 35.6 x 58.4 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 174
The head belonged to a figure of over lifesize proportions. The conical cap, identifying him as an individual of high rank, appears at the end of the eighth century B.C. in the Levant and had reached Cyprus by the mid-seventh century B.C. It is characterized by a protuberance at the top and flaps at the sides that could be let down or fastened up by the ties ending in tassels. While, unfortunately, nothing of the body remains, the head represents a very early and impressive example of this figural type. The articulation of the beard, with its round, generalized curls, is often interpreted as an indication of the influence of terracotta sculpture on stoneworking.
Golgoi–Ayios Photios, “near the temple”

Cesnola, Luigi Palma di. 1877. Cyprus: Its Ancient Cities, Tombs, and Temples. A Narrative of Researches and Excavations During Ten Years' Residence in That Island. p. 123, London: John Murray.

Cesnola, Luigi Palma di. 1885. A Descriptive Atlas of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriote Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Vol. 1. pl. XXXIX.253, Boston: James R. Osgood and Company.

Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. no. 1257, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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.

Gjerstad, Einar. 1948. The Swedish Cyprus Expedition: The Cypro-Geometric, Cypro-Archaic, and Cypro-Classical Periods, Vol. 4(2). p. 96, pl. II.a–.b, Stockholm: The Swedish Cyprus Expedition.

Masson, Olivier. 1971. "Kypriaka IX: Recherches sur les antiquités de Golgoi." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, 95(1): p. 312, fig. 12.

Romano, David Gilman and Irene Bald Romano. 1999. Catalogue of the Classical Collections of the Glencairn Museum, Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. p. 3, Bryn Athyn, PA: Glencairn Museum.

Lightfoot, Christopher S. 2000. "The New Cypriot Galleries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Minerva, 11(3): p. 19, fig. 6.

Karageorghis, Vassos, Joan Mertens, and Marice E. Rose. 2000. Ancient Art from Cyprus: The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 171, p. 108, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Tatton-Brown, Veronica. 2000. "The New Galleries of Cypriot Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Apollo, 152: p. 7, fig. 8.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 283, pp. 242-3, 462, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Stylianou, Andreas and Patrick Schollmeyer. 2007. "Der Sarkophag aus Golgoi." Dynastensarkophage mit szenischen Reliefs aus Byblos und Zypern: Der Sarkophag aus Amathous als Beispiel kontaktinduzierten Wandels, 2. pp. 35 n. 170, 37, 45, 46, pl. 18a/b, Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern.

Counts, Derek B. 2011. "Local Styles and Regional Trends in Cypriot Limestone Sculpture." Crossroads and Boundaries: The Archaeology of Past and Present in the Malloura Valley, Cyprus, Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Vol. 65, Michael K. Toumazou, P. Nick Kardulias, and Derek B. Counts, eds. pp. 154-55, fig. 11.4, Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research.

Hermary, Antoine and Joan R. Mertens. 2013. The Cesnola Collection of Cypriot Art: Stone Sculpture. no. 1, pp. 28, 30, Online Publication, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Satraki, Anna. 2013. "The Iconography of Basileis in Archaic and Classical Cyprus: Manifestations of Royal Power in the Visual Record." Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research, 370: pp. 129-30, fig. 4.

Bombardieri, Luca. 2017. "A Possible Cypriot Origin for an Assyrian Stone Mixing Bowl in the Cesnola Collection." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 52: pp. 29–30.

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