Head of Male

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 inlaid with stone or shell
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 21.4 x 16.2 x 12.4 cm (8 7/16 x 6 3/8 x 4 7/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Head of a bearded male, of translucent travertine with natural orange veining. Highly modelled, probably meant to be viewed only from the front. The facial features are rendered in detail. The back surface of the sculpture is unfinished, cut flat with heavy chisel marks. The eyes are recessed and inlaid with stone or shell eyeballs; no eyebrows indicated. The ears protrude perpendicular to the head so that they may be viewed completely from the front, and have uneven incisions which schematically represent interior detail. The nose is straight with an indication of nostrils, and the mouth, palate and chin areas are slightly modelled. The lips are separated only by a thin, grooved incision. The beard, which extends from ear to ear, is represented by a semicircular ledge which thins below the chin. All surfaces of the beard are unfinished. The entire face rests in a smooth background field of the same stone.
    The sculpture is in excellent condition; the eye inlays are chipped, as are the tip of the nose and part of the background field. The top of the head is unfinished, with heavy chisel marks, and flat.
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981)
    Sotheby's (London)
    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • Provenance

    Sale, Sotheby and Co., London. [1]
    From 1965 to 1966
    Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981), purchased from Sotheby and Co., London in 1965. [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 Instiution
  • 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