Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Marble statue of Hermes

Copy of work attributed to Polykleitos
1st or 2nd century A.D.
Marble, Pentellic
Overall: 71 1/4 x 29 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. (181 x 74.9 x 59.7 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of The Hearst Foundation, 1956
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
The left hand, tip of nose, and tips of some fingers of the right hand are restored.

Roman after Classical Greek original. Copy or adaptation of a Greek statue of the late 5th or early 4th century B.C.

The statue is almost intact, although the surface was strongly cleaned as was the custom in the eighteenth century. During that period, newly excavated ancient
sculpture was cleaned and restored in Roman workshops before being sold to members of the European nobility. This work was acquired by the English statesman William Fitzmaurice, second earl of Shelburne, who assembled a
distinguished collection of antiquities at Lansdowne House in London. The statue of Hermes once stood in a niche in the dining room at Lansdowne House, serving the same decorative function that it doubtless once served in a Roman villa of the first or second century A.D. The dining room, designed by Robert Adam, is now at the Metropolitan Museum, where it is installed with other period rooms from England.
von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1958. "Greek Marble Sculptures." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 16(6): pp. 187, 189.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1990. Herakles-Kenchrias, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 5. Hermes, no. 943a, Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

Picón, Carlos A. 1995. "Polykleitan and Related Sculptures in American Collections: Recent Acquisitions." Polykleitos, the Doryphoros, and Tradition, Warren G. Moon, ed. pp. 229, 244 n. 9, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Herrmann, John and Christine Kondoleon. 2004. Games for the Gods: The Greek Athlete and the Olympic Spirit. no. 99, pp. 142, 183, Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Angelicoussis, Elizabeth. 2017. Reconstructing the Lansdowne Collection of Classical Marbles, Vols. 1 & 2, Gerard M.-F. Hill, ed. no. 6, pp. 64–68, Munich: Hirmer Verlag.

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