Zeus Ammon

Roman
Imperial Period
1st–2nd century A.D, copy of Greek statue about 430 B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 141; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 111 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height x length (of face): 28 x 20 cm (11 x 7 7/8 in.)

Accession Number

03.755

Medium or Technique

Marble from Carrara in northwest Italy

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

The greater parts of both horns, the ram’s ears (fastened into round holes in the sides of the head), and the ends of the fillet are missing. The left horn was once refastened, as is shown by dowel holes in the break and in the side of the head. The tip of the nose, the right eyebrow, and some of the locks of the beard have been slightly chipped. The surfaces have a yellow patina.
The ram’s horns, springing from above the temples, grew downward at the sides of the head and were curled around the ears. These were ram’s ears, made separately. A hoop, with a ribbon wound around it and knotted at the back, encircles the top of the head. Wavy locks have been carved in outline on the smooth surfaces of hair and beard.
The head has probably been broken from a herm. This Ammon is a careful, somewhat dry, but nonetheless pleasing copy of an original dated to the period around 430 B.C., when the cult of Zeus in this form became especially popular in classical Cyrene and elsewhere in the Greek world, including Athens.

Scientific Analysis:
Harvard Lab No. HI721: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.24 / delta18O -1.82, Attribution - Carrara, Justification - Fine grained marble.

Provenance

By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren Collection (according to Warren's records: Bought in Rome; said to be from Formiae.); March 24,1903: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900