Bearded head with wreath of leaves and flower buds

Cypriote
Classical Period
450–425 B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 438.

Dimensions

27.3 cm (10 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

72.324

Medium or Technique

Stone; limestone

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

Male head with long beard with spiral curls. Small mouth with smiling lips. Straight nose and deeply incised eyes (right damaged). The hair is tightly curled and surmounted by a crown featuring flower buds and leaves.

Such sculptures were common from the late 6th c. BC through the Hellenistic period. The head would have been attached to a life sized body and left as a dedication at a sanctuary, most likely the sanctuary of Golgoi-Ayios Photios. Wreaths like this one were worn during religious ceremonies.

Condition: The contrasts between the right and left sides of the head are extreme, but, despite what appears to have happened to this sculpture, or perhaps because of what has happened, it has survived as a very powerful statement of purely Cypriote classical art.

In spite of the damage seemingly brought about by wear and water, this wreathed, bearded head has considerable individuality in addition to its conventional strength. The condition of the ears and the right eye also suggest the statue may have been left unfinished.

Provenance

By date unknown: with General Luigi Palma di Cesnola (from Cyprus); May 16, 1872: purchased by MFA from General Luigi Palma di Cesnola for
$ 1,704.39 (this figure is the total price for MFA 72.1-72.473 and 72.4871-72.4900)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by subscription