In antiquity, heads were often carved separately from the statues for which they were intended. The head was made with a convex tenon that could be set into a specially prepared cavity in the statue. The juncture was concealed by a line of drapery. This finely carved head of a young woman must represent a goddess because of its colossal size. Persephone (the daughter of Demeter and wife of Hades, the god of the underworld) and Hygeia (the daughter of Asklepios, the god of medicine) were often represented with hair separated into thick coils pulled back to the top of the head and tied loosely in a knot. Such a knot was probably affixed to this head using three large holes that remain in the back.
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Title:Marble head of a goddess
Date:4th century BCE
Dimensions:H. 21 3/4 in. (55.25 cm)
Credit Line:Rogers Fund, 1910
Said to be from Taranto (Richter 1954, p. 236).
Robinson, Edward. 1910. "Two Ancient Marbles." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5(12): pp. 276–78, figs. 2–4.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 229, fig. 139, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Chase, George H. 1924. Greek and Roman Sculpture in American Collections. pp. 97–8, fig. 114, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 268–69, fig. 189, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 268–69, fig. 189, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1940. A Special Exhibition of Heads in Sculpture from the Museum Collection: New York, January 16 through March 3, 1940. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1950. The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, 3rd edn. pp. 146, 499, fig. 443, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 106, 245, pl. 85b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 141, p. 79, pl. 103, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Geominy, Wilfred. 1984. "Die Florentiner Niobiden. Ph.D. Diss." Ph.D. Diss. pp. 236ff., 459, n. 623, fig. 240. Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
Sobel, Hildegard. 1990. Hygieia: Die Göttin der Gesundheit. pl. 17b, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
Flashar, Martin. 1992. "Apollon Kitharodos: Statuarische Typen des musischen Apollon." Ph.D. Diss. pp. 38–9, fig. 29. Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
Picón, Carlos A. 2002. "Sculptural Styles of Magna Graecia." Magna Graecia: Greek Art from South Italy and Sicily, Mr. Michael Bennett, Dr. Aaron Paul, and Mario Iozzo, eds. p. 77, fig. 9, Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art.
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