Archaistic Artemis

Imperial Period
about A.D. 50

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 215; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 112 (additional published references).


Height x length (of face): 35.5 x 16.9 cm (14 x 6 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble probably from the Greek island of Paros

Not On View


The Ancient World



Head and neck were worked for insertion in a draped statue. The base of the neck is rounded and roughly tooled. The eyeballs, the end of the nose, part of the left ear (which was made separately and cemented on), and the end of the hair behind the head are missing. There are small breaks in the lower lip, the chin, the right ear, and the edge of the diadem. The surface is slightly corroded, with traces of incrustation which has been partly removed by means of acid. A pleasing yellowish patina remains.
The forward position of the head suggests the figure may have been represented in a walking attitude. She wears a narrow diadem, decorated on the front and sides with a row of flowers carved in relief. This diadem, which imitates metalwork, the girlish face, and the pose indicate the identification as Artemis.
The hair is rendered in the schematic style of the Archaic period. The top of the head is smooth with incised wavy lines radiating from the crown and with very fine lines engraved between them. At the back the hair falls in a rigid mass standing out from the neck; its surface is treated like that on the crown. A portion has been pulled up under the diadem and projects above it in a small roll. Here the strands are separated by deeply drilled depressions, corresponding with the incised lines from the crown. Eyeballs were made separately of another material, probably colored to imitate nature; the ears were pierced for metal earrings.

Scientific Analysis:
Harvard Lab No. HI775: Isotope ratios - delta13C +5.16 / delta18O -3.18, Attribution - Paros 1, Justification - White, fine to medium grained marble.


By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Sent from Rome where it was owned originally by a little man who had it from excavations of his own. It is unlikely that they are far afield.); 1899: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for
$ 32,500.00 (this is the total price for MFA 99.338-99.542)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund