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: 17.1 x 13.2 x 10.1 cm (6 3/4 x 5 3/16 x 4 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Head of a bearded male, of transluscent alabaster. Highly modelled, probably meant to be viewed only from the front. The facial features rendered in some detail. The eyes are modelled, with no pupil or eyebrows represented. The ears protrude perpendicular to the head, with some interior detail is incised into the ears for schematic rendering. The nose is straight, with nostrils indicated, and the mouth is represented by a thin grooved incision between the two modelled lips. The beard, which stretches from ear to ear, is represented as a semicircular ledge below the chin. The front edge of the beard is smoothed, but the bottom edge is not. The entire face rests in a smooth background field of the same stone.
    The sculpture is in good condition, with some minor scratches on the otherwise smooth and polished front surface. The tip of the nose is broken, and the back surface is unfinished, with several heavy chisel marks. The top of the head, and the side and bottom edges of the fragment bear signs of heavy alteration and/or chiselling.
  • 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.
  • Collection

    National Museum of Asian Art Collection
  • Previous custodian or owner

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

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