Portrait of a man
about A.D. 180
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 361.
Height: 15.5 cm (6 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble, from western Turkey: Göktepe (near Aphrodisias) or Dokimeion
Not On View
The head is a nearly half life-sized portrait of a young man whose features, combined with the style of carving in hair and face, suggest he was perhaps an Arab or North African whose ancestors included Macedonians or Greeks.
This piece is of Greek or Asiatic work from the middle Antonine period, as evidenced by the partly drilled hair, the incised lines for the suggestions of sideburns, the deep, decisive carving of wrinkles between the eyebrows, the lines around the eyelids, and the line of the closed lips. The broad face, high cheekbones, and firm jaw were emphasized by the high, hard polish of flesh surfaces.
The face and, to a lesser extent, the hair, have suffered considerably from breaks and hammering. The surfaces have some incrustation and a dark yellow coloring, like ivory. The head has been broken from a statue and has been badly damaged, perhaps deliberately as a damnatio memoriae.
University of South Florida Lab No. 8470: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.8 / delta18O -2.8,
Attribution - Göktepe (near Aphrodisias) or Dokimeion, Turkey. Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain.
By 1928: with Edward Perry Warren; gift of Edward Perry Warren to MFA, November 8, 1928
Gift of Edward Perry Warren