Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Marble head of a deity wearing a Dionysiac fillet

Early Imperial, Julio-Claudian
ca. A.D.14–68
H. 11 15/16 in. (30.4 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Anonymous Gift, in memory of Professor Charles M. Edwards, 1992
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 163
Copy of a Greek work of the 2nd century B.C.

Although the back and neck are sheared away, the remaining surface of this head is in exceptionally good condition, retaining red pigment on the eyes, lips and fillet, and traces of gilding in the hair. Other Roman copies of this work are known, as well as an extremely fine marble head found in 1886 on the south slope of the Athenian Acropolis, and now in the National Museum, which most scholars have considered to be the Greek original. There, the head is rotated and tilted upward to its right, creating an expression of pathos. Strut-like projections on the right side of both the Athens marble and this copy may be the remains of fingers on the right hand raised to the cheek. The fillet worn across the forehead is an attribute of Dionysos. The work may represent the god of wine himself, or his consort Ariadne.
Ars Antiqua. 1959. Antike Kunstwerke. Nachlass Dr. Jacod Hirsch II. Teil und anderer Besitz. 2 May 1959. lot 33, pp. 14-5, pls. 17-8.

Pochmarski, Erwin. 1975. "Zum Kopf von Südabhang." Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung, 90: pp. 149-50, pl. 55, 103.

von Bothmer, Dietrich, Carlos A. Picón, Joan R. Mertens, and Elizabeth J. Milleker. 1993. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1992–1993: Ancient World." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 51(2): p. 13.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1993. "One Hundred Twenty-third Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1992 through June 30, 1993." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 123: p. 29.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome. no. 239, pp. 205, 451, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Abbe, Mark Benford. 2011. "A Roman Marble Replica of the "South Slope Head" : Polychromy and Identification." Source: Notes in the History of Art, : pp. 18–24, figs. 1–3.

Østergaard, Jan Stubbe and Anne Marie Nielsen. 2014. Transformations: Classical Sculpture in Colour no. 85, p. 331, Copenhagen, Denmark: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.

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