Marble statuette of a seated philosopher


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162

Copy after a Greek statue of ca. 250 B.C.
Said to be from Rome
Seated torso with modern marble head based on bronze original in the British Museum.

Several other small-scale copies of this type have been identified. The best preserved example is a bronze in the British Museum. Much of the intellectual intensity of the portrait is conveyed in the figure’s face. The body language—the crossed legs, the position of the left arm in the himation (cloak), and the forward-leaning pose— adds to the evocation of a man deep in thought. According to one interpretation, this work depicts the Stoic philosopher Kleanthes of Assos (331–232 B.C.), the foremost pupil of Zeno.

Marble statuette of a seated philosopher, Marble, Roman

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