Imperial, Hadrianic Period
A.D. 117–138, after a Greek original of about 450–430 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 144; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 111 (additional published references).


Height x length (of face): 27 x 18.5 cm (10 5/8 x 7 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Dolomitic marble from the Greek island of Thasos

Not On View


The Ancient World



Inspired by a sculpture by Polykleitos of about 450–430 B.C. The end of the nose has been badly damaged. The top surface of the skull as now remaining is slightly rounded, and roughly tooled, except for a contact band around the edge. The petasos was secured by a large iron dowel (now removed) in the crown. There are faint traces of black paint indicating the pupils of the eyes and the outlines of the irises. A yellowish patina remains elsewhere.

Scientific Analysis:
Marble has been scientifically tested with X-Ray Diffraction and determined to be Dolomitic.
Harvard Lab No. HI358: Isotope ratios - delta13C +3.71 / delta18O -3.06, Attribution - Thasos-Cape Vathy, Justification - Dolomitic by XRD.


By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (Warren's records state this head is: from the neighborhood where your marble Hermes was found) [this is a reference to MFA 95.67, which was found in the neighborhood of Capua]; 1898: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 69,618.13 (this figure is the total price for MFA 98.641-98.940)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund