Head of Apollo

mid 2nd–1st century B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 457.


8.6 cm (3 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Stone; limestone

Not On View


The Ancient World



The long, flowing hair is parted down the middle and appears to be contained by a plain fillet, or possible a laurel wreath. As a result, masses of locks enframe the face and cover the ears. This hair, and that on the top and back of the head, is carved in rough chisel strokes and frilly curls.

This hairstyle is associated with the god Apollo, particularly in the late Hellenistic period. The statue may depict the god, or perhaps a priest who is imitating his appearance, and was likely offered as a dedication at a sanctuary.

Condition: The nose and the chin have been damaged; there is the usual brownish,crusty patina on the surfaces.


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