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Marble head of Apollo from the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos


Height: 42.000 cm

Excavated by Sir Charles Thomas Newton

GR 1857.12-20.264 (Sculpture 1058)

Room 21: Halikarnassos

    Marble head of Apollo from the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos

    Greek, around 350 BC
    From Bodrum, modern Turkey

    From the one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

    This statue, from which only this head survives, was carved from Pentelic marble. The god Apollo is shown here in a dynamic pose, with his head turning sharply, his hair windswept, his mouth slightly open and his expression exhilarated. The figure to which this head originally belonged must have been carved in an animated manner and was probably in motion. His long hair was perhaps arranged in a so-called 'top-knot', typical of fourth-century BC and later Hellenistic images of Apollo.

    The scale of this head is different from that of the other free-standing sculptures from the Mausoleum and this, and its lively pose, suggest that it may have been part of a sculptural group positioned on the roof of the building. Alternatively, it may have been grouped with portraits of the Hekatomnid court: deities were often portrayed on a larger scale than their mortal devotees. Apollo may have been the patron deity of the Hekatomnid dynasty, as he appears on the coins of Maussollos and his successors.

    G.B. Waywell, The free-standing sculptures o (London, 1978)


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    On display: Room 21: Halikarnassos

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