Greece, Hellenistic, ca. 3rd to 1st century BCE. Skillfully carved from marble, a portrait head of a youth presenting a sensitively rendered visage crowned by a close-cropped wavy/curled coiffure with locks falling behind the ears and past the shoulders, framing an attractive face presenting generously lidded, almond-shaped eyes, a sharp browline leading to an impressively naturalistic nose, closed lips, a cleft chin, and well-modeled cheeks and facial planes. Given the uncarved verso, this piece likely came from a stele or relief. An impressive example of Hellenistic portrait sculpture. Size: 5.375" W x 10" H (13.7 cm x 25.4 cm); 11" H (27.9 cm) on included custom stand.
The arts prospered during the Hellenistic period when kings took pride in being patrons of the arts and commissioned public art as well as private luxury pieces to demonstrate their elite taste and wealth. One of the most fascinating aspects of the Hellenistic milieu was that artists were commissioned to portray rather unorthodox subjects, including working-class maidens, the elderly, ethnic phenotypes, and children.
Published: J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, 2010, no. 9.
Cf. Aquileia, Catalogo delle Sculture Romane, Rome 1972, nos. 90-92.
Provenance: ex Parisian collection, acquired from Galerie Serres, Paris, France, 2008
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Normal surface wear commensurate with age with losses/abrasions to tip of nose, peripheries of ears, chest, and other high pointed areas - and abrasions to coiffure. Pressure fissure from neck to chest that does not penetrate to other side. Verso is roughly hewn and likely was not carved; this suggests the head came from a stele or relief. Earthen/mineral deposits grace the surface.