Head of Aphrodite
Greek or Roman
Late Hellenistic or Early Imperial Period
about 1st century B.C.
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 158; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 111 (additional published references).
Height x length (of face): 37 x 22 cm (14 9/16 x 8 11/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble probably from the Greek island of Paros
Not On View
Head turned slightly to her left with hair secured by a ribbon, below which it was pulled back to a loose knot at the nape of her neck. Surface rough with corrosion. The top of the head was made separately; eyes originally made of another material.
Marble has been scientifically tested with X-Ray Fluorescence and determined to be Calcitic.
Harvard Lab No. HI236: Isotope ratios - delta13C +1.93 / delta18O -1.05, Attribution - Probably Paros 2, Justification - Coarse grained marble.
By 1764: collection of Henry Temple, Second Viscount Palmerston (1739-1802), of Broadlands, Hampshire (purchased in Italy); date unknown: collection of Lord Ronald Gower; by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, October 1896
Catharine Page Perkins Fund