- Museum number
Marble terminal bust of the philosopher Epicurus.
- Production date
- AD 1 - 160
Height: 46.99 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Roman copy of an original portrait of the 3rd century BC.
Cook 2013, nr. 168:
Townley's description; ‘A head of Epicurus, found 1775 in the Villa Casali, near the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome’ (TY 12/3, library 20).
Bought from Jenkins for £25. In a letter dated 18 October 1775 (TY 7/349), Jenkins offered a herm of Epicurus, described as ‘very fine’, a companion piece, unidentified, and a bust not of Epicurus but like him. Another letter, dated 24 February 1776 (TY 8/74/15), included a bill for a bust of a philosopher at £40 and ‘Two Erms ditto’ at £45. According to Townley’s transcripts (TY 8/75/4 and 'Union' Catalogue, fo. 60v), the philosopher was exchanged for a bust of ‘Plotina’ (present location unknown, nr. 167 in printed Cook catalogue) and one of the herms (present location unknown, nr. 169 in printed Cook catalogue) was later returned, valued at £20. This amount, when deducted from the total of £45 for the two herms, leaves £25 for the Epicurus, as stated by Townley in the first priced list (TY 10/6). Townley’s other figures (£30 in TY 10/7 and £35 in TY 10/5, TY 12/1, and TY 10/3, fo. 18) are evidently mistaken.
Roman, after original of III BC (museum label).
* Townley drawings 2010,5006.167 and 168;
* Nollekens : B. F. Cook, `The Townley Marbles in Westminster and Bloomsbury’, The British Museum Yearbook, 2 (1977), 46, figs. 28-29, no. 4.
- Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum (1808), III.34;
- Ancient Marbles of the British Museum, II, pl. 34;
- A Guide to the Graeco-Roman Sculptures in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 2 vols. (London, 1874  and 1876), I, no. 57;
- A. H. Smith, A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, Vol. III (London 1904), 138, no. 1844;
- G. M. A. Richter, Portraits of the Greeks, 3 vols. (London, 1965), II, 192, no. 10, figs. 1195-7;
- G. Davies, ‘The Albacini Cast Collection’, Journal of the History of Collections 3/2 (1991), 183-97, 157, fig. 8, 162, no. 12.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number