Head of a beardless male votary wearing a wreath of leaves

Second quarter of the 5th century B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 435.


12.1 cm (4 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Stone; limestone

Not On View


The Ancient World



The priest or votary wears a wreath of laurel leaves and flower buds above his tightly curled locks, which are arranged around the forehead in two rows.

Such sculptures were common from the late 6th c. BC through the Hellenistic period. The head would have been attached to a life sized body and offered as a dedication at a sanctuary, possibly the sanctuary of Golgoi-Ayios Photios. Wreaths like this one were worn during religious ceremonies.

The turn of the head to the subject’s left is unusual, these priests or votaries being usually frontal in concept and appearance. For this reason, the head might have come from a multi-figured funerary relief rather than a freestanding statue.

Condition: The surfaces, except for the damage described below, are excellent, the head having a light brown to gray patina.


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)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by subscription