Head of Aphrodite of the Capitoline type
about 2nd century A.D. (after a Hellenistic Greek type)
Place of Manufacture: Italy, Lazio
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 167; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 111 (additional published references).
Other (Head): 30 x 23 x 27 cm (11 13/16 x 9 1/16 x 10 5/8 in.) Overall (Height including modern base): 41 cm (16 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble, Dolomitic from the Greek island of Thasos, top of head completed in Calcitic marble probably from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens
Not On View
The head has been detached from the Capitoline Aphrodite (99.350). The nose, the lower lip, and the end of the chin have been restored. The surfaces are slightly damaged and somewhat rubbed off, in post-Antique times.
The hair drawn back above the sides of the face and the shape of the face itself bear considerable resemblance to the Capitoline Aphrodite; the center of the topknot lacks the big “Herakles knot,” and the locks of hair falling down to the shoulders have been reduced to one smallish curl on the right side of the neck.
Marble has been scientifically tested with X-Ray Fluorescence and the head has been determined to be Dolomitic, with the top of head determined to be Calcitic.
Harvard Lab No. HI093: Isotope ratios - delta13C +3.50 / delta18O -3.73, Attribution - Thasos-Cape Vathy, Justification - Dolomitic by EM.
(Top of Head)Harvard Lab No. HI219: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.07 / delta18O -6.64, Attribution - Probably Pentelikon, Justification - From Italy.
By date unknown: from Gabii (according to Bernoulli, Aphrodite (1873), p. 230, no. 24); by 1845: in a collection in Rome; by 1873: in the Palazzo Valentini (according to Bernoulli); by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Palazzo Valentini); 1899: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 32,500.00 (this is the total price for MFA 99.338-99.542)
Henry Lillie Pierce Fund