Head of a Man

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

  • Period

    300 BCE-100 CE
  • Geography

  • Material

    Calcite travertine
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 19.8 x 17.5 x 9 cm (7 13/16 x 6 7/8 x 3 9/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Head of a bearded male, carved from transluscent alabaster. Highly modelled, probably meant to be viewed only from the front. The facial features are rendered in detail. The back surface has two large, straight and smooth tool marks running vertically from top to bottom. The eyes are recessed deeply and inlay is missing, as is the case with the eyebrows. The ears, which stick out nearly perpendicular to the head, are slightly abraded, simply modelled and incised. The mouth lies in a slightly raised plane which extends from the palate to the beard. The lips are slightly modelled and separated by a thin finished groove. The beard, which extends from ear to ear, is represented as a semicircular ledge below the chin. Both front and bottom edges of beard are smoothed. The sculpture rests in a smoothed and finished background field. The parallel grooves define the hair line.
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981)
    André Emmerich Gallery
    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • Provenance

    To 1963
    André Emmerich Gallery, New York. [1]
    From 1963 to 1966
    Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981), purchased from André Emmerich Gallery, New York. [2]
    From 1966 to 1986
    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn. [3]
    From 1986
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, transferred from Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC [4]
    [1] See document from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, object file, Collections Management Office.
    [2] See note 1.
    [3] See note 1.
    [4] See note 1. See also object file, Collections Management Office.
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn to the Smithsonian Institution
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring