Deaccessioned September 24, 2015
Roman Imperial Period
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 267.
10 cm (3 15/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Dolomitic marble from the Greek island of Thasos
The front and sides of the head are heavily discolored. The surfaces are worn, and the back is broken irregularly. The drill was used extensively throughout the hair and the beard.
The fragment appears to come from a large narrative sarcophagus of the late Antoine or Severan periods. The head gives every indication of being that of a barbarian, and the look of suffering on the face suggests that it came from a battle sarcophagus with triumphant Romans and their adversaries. The head is turned to the viewer’s left, in such a way as to suggest the man was in a violent or at least emotional pose.
Marble has been scientifically tested with X-Ray Diffraction and determined to be Dolomitic.
Harvard Lab No. HI229: Isotope ratios - delta13C +3.12 / delta18O -3.54, Attribution - Thasos-Cape Vathy, Justification - Dolomitic by XRD.
1876, gift of Charles Callahan Perkins (b. 1823 - d. 1886), Boston, to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 1, 1876)
Gift of Charles C. Perkins