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A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF SOCRATES
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Descrizione dell'oggetto

A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF SOCRATES\nCIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.\nInspired by a Greek original of the 4th century B.C., sculpted with his head turned slightly to his left and hunched forward on his neck, his bald pate with thick wavy hair low at the sides and back of his head, his forehead creased, his prominent lidded eyes unarticulated, the broad bulbous nose with wide nostrils, his mustache framing the thick lips of his large mouth, the full beard with overlapping pointed tufts, some coiled at their tips\n14 in. (35.5 cm.) high
US
NY, US
US

notes

Socrates is perhaps the best-known of all ancient Greek philosophers, despite not having left any of his own writings. What we know of his life, including the famous Socratic method of cross-questioning the people with whom he came in contact, comes from the accounts of later writers, including the work of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the playwright Aristophanes. About his appearance, these sources inform that he was stocky, broad-shouldered, and that he resembled a Silenus. His face had a broad nose with wide-open nostrils, a large mouth with thick lips, and he was bald, traits all accurately captured in the many surviving portraits, including the present example. Only one statue of Socrates is mentioned in ancient literature. According to Diogenes Laertios, the Athenians, feeling remorse for having had him executed, erected a bronze statue of him, the work of Lysippos. Scholars recognize two portrait types: Type A, an earlier one, perhaps set up by Socrates' friends not long after his death; and Type B, a later one, perhaps reproducing the version by Lysippos. The present head is closest to Type A (see Richter, The Portraits of the Greeks, pp. 198-204; and G.C. Field, "Socrates," in The Oxford Classical Dictionary).

title

A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF SOCRATES

prelot

Property from the Collection of Max Palevsky

keywords

1st Century, Ancient Art & Antiquities, statue, marble, Rome, Roman

department

Ancient Art & Antiquities

dimensions

14 in. (35.5 cm.) high

provenance

with Galerie Nefer, Zurich, 1991 (Menschliche Götter - göttliche Menschen, Antike Bildnisse in Stein, no. 16).

Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 7 December 2001, lot 118.


*Nota: il prezzo non corrisponde al valore odierno, ma si riferisce soltanto al reale prezzo di aggiudicazione al momento dell'acquisto.

*Nota: il prezzo non corrisponde al valore odierno, ma si riferisce soltanto al reale prezzo di aggiudicazione al momento dell'acquisto.


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