Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pair of eyes

5th century B.C. or later
Bronze, marble, frit, quartz, obsidian
maximum H. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm)
maximum length 2in. (5.1cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Cullman Gift and Norbert Schimmel Bequest, 1991
Accession Number:
1991.11.3a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 156
Bronze, marble, frit, quartz, and obsidian

Greek and Roman statues were designed to give a colorful lifelike impression. Marble and wood sculptures were brightly painted, and bronze statues were originally a pale fleshlike brown. Lips and nipples were often inlaid with copper, and teeth with silver. Eyes were usually made separately and set into prepared sockets. This pair, designed for an over-lifesize statue, gives a sense of the potent immediacy that ancient sculpture could convey.
#1041. Pair of eyes
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit
Picón, Carlos A., Elizabeth J. Milleker, and Joan R. Mertens. 1991. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1990–1991: Greek and Roman Art." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 49(2): p. 8.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1991. "One Hundred Twenty-first Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1990 through June 30, 1991." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 121: p. 32.

Haynes, Denys E.L. 1992. The Technique of Greek Bronze Statuary. pp. 106-7, pl. 10, Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Hemingway, Seán A. 2000. "Bronze Sculpture." Making Classical Art: Process and Practice, Roger Ling, ed. p. 44, pl. 3, Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia.

Hemingway, Seán. 2000. "A Technical Analysis of the Bronze Horse and Jockey Group from Artemision." From the Parts to the Whole: Acta of the 13th International Bronze Congress held at Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 28 - June 1, 1996, Carol Mattusch, Amy Brauer, and Sandra E. Knudsen, eds. p. 232 n. 15, Portsmith, R.I.: Journal of Roman Archaeology.

Hemingway, Seán Dr. 2004. The Horse and Jockey from Artemision: A Bronze Equestrian Monument of the Hellenistic Period. p. 12, fig. 8 , Berkeley: University of California Press.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 141, pp. 127, 433, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Panzanelli, Roberta, Eike D. Schmidt, and Kenneth Lapatin. 2008. The Color of Life: Polychromy in Sculpture from Antiquity to the Present p. 109, fig. 77, Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust.

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