Since eight other Roman copies of this Greek portrait type are known, it probably represents a famous figure. Although there is no evidence for identification, some scholars have suggested that the original statue portrayed the Athenian lawgiver Solon, one of the Seven Sages famed in antiquity for practical wisdom. This head is one of the most sensitive and crisp likenesses in the Metropolitan’s collection of Roman copies of Greek portraits.
Said to be from Italy (Jucker and Willers 1982, p. 39)
By 1982, private collection, Switzerland; [1988, purchased by Acanthus Gallery, New York]; private collection, New York; 1993, exchanged for another work by a New York private collector and Acanthus Gallery; [1993, with Acanthus Gallery, New York]; acquired in 1993, purchased from Acanthus Gallery, New York.
Jucker, Hans and Dietrich Willers. 1983. Gesichter: Griechische und römische Bildnisse aus Schweizer Besitz. no. 11, p. 39, Bern: Institut für Klassische Archäologie der Universität Bern.
Picón, Carlos A., Joan R. Mertens, Elizabeth J. Milleker, and Patricia Gilkison. 1994. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection: 1993–1994: Ancient World." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 52(2): pp. 14–15.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1994. "One Hundred Twenty-fourth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1993 through June 30, 1994." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 124: p. 35.
Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 255, pp. 219, 454, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Zanker, Paul. 2016. Roman Portraits: Sculptures in Stone and Bronze in the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 6, pp. 28–30, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.