Beardless male votary wearing wreath of leaves
Late 3rd or 2nd century B.C.
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 450; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 117 (additional published references).
33.1 cm (13 1/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
This strongly modeled, over life-sized head from a votive or commemorative statue wears a precisely carved garland of laurel leaves which meets at the top of the head. His short hair falls in curved locks over his forehead.
The general type, of a wreathed, beardless man, was popular as a dedication in Cypriot sanctuaries during the Hellenistic period, especially the sanctuary of Golgoi-Ayios Photios. Earlier, such statues were most often bearded, but the style preference had changed by the Hellenistic period.
This specific statue may be an ideal, generalized likeness of the Macedonian ruler of Egypt, Cyprus, and other, substantial parts of the eastern Mediterranean world, Ptolemy III Euergetes (246–221 B.C.). The head in profile catches something of that king’s plumpness below the chin, as manifested on his fairly large series of coins and those of his dynastic successors.
Condition: Nose, lips, and chin have been damaged slightly. The neck is broken through on a fairly even line. The surfaces are covered with a crusty brown deposit.
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)
Museum purchase with funds donated by subscription