- Museum number
Marble head from a statue of the philosopher Chrysippos.
- Production date
Height: 46.99 centimetres
Height: 360 millimetres
Width: 200 millimetres
Depth: 250 millimetres (approx)
- Curator's comments
Roman copy of an original of about 200 BC.
Previously identified as the poet and astronomer Aratus. For the identification as Chrysippos see
Richter, G. The Portraits of the Greeks, 1965
Zanker, Paul. The Mask of Socrates: The Image of the Intellectual in Antiquity. Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press, 1995.
Von den Hoff, R. Philosophenporträts des Früh- und Hochhellenismus, 1994.
Roman copy, 1st century AD, of a Greek original of the late 3rd century (or 2nd century?) BC
Cook 2013, nr. 57:
Townley's description; ‘A head of Aratus the Cilician, or the astronomer. it was found 1770 at Murena amongst ruins belonging to the villa of Sulpitius Varro Muraena, colleague with Augustus in his consulship’ (TY 12/3, parlour 2).
Bought for £35 from Jenkins, who described it as ‘the finest bust of Aratus the Cilician that you ever saw’, adding that it was a recent find at Murena, the supposed villa of A. Terent. Varro Muraena, near the via Tusculanum about 10 miles from Rome (TY 7/302, 2 May 1770). Jenkins had been tempted, he wrote, to send it without waiting for an answer. In TY 10/3 (fo. 20) Townley gives the provenance as ‘found in the Villa Casali 1775’, which is evidently in error, perhaps copied from the previous entry (see Cook 2013, nr. 170 = 1805.7-3.98 (Sculpture 2005)).
Townley’s records of the price are also erratic. The definitive figure must be the £35 quoted by Jenkins in his account (TY 7/303). Townley repeated this figure in TY 10/3 (fo. 20), TY 10/5, and TY 12/1, but in TY 10/2 he wrote £30, repeating this error in an erased duplicate entry in TY 10/5, in TY 10/7, and in ST 1 (fo. 13r). In TY 10/6 the cost is reported as £25 but the valuation as £50.
* Townley drawing 2010,5006.183, attributed ‘very probably’ to Brown [I. D. Jenkins].
Label: Roman, after original of ca. 200 BC; II AD (Neudecker)
- Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum (1808) III.20.
- Ancient Marbles of the British Museum, II, pl. 20.
- A Guide to the Graeco-Roman Sculptures in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities (Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum) (2 vols., London 1874 [2nd ed. 1879] and 1876), I, no. 68.
- A. H. Smith, A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, Vol. III (London 1904), 134-5, no. 1836
- Gisela M. A. Richter, Portraits of the Greeks (3 vols. London 1965), II, 192, no. 10, figs. 1139-41.
- R. Neudecker, Die Skulpturenausstattung römischer Villen in Italien (Mainz am Rhein 1990), 207, no. 49.4.
- Klaus Fittschen, et al., Verzeichnis der Gipsabgüsse des Archäologischen Instituts der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Göttingen 1990), 276 A 1514 (bibl.).
- Glenys Davies, ‘The Albacini Cast Collection’, Journal of the History of Collections 3/2 (1991), 161, no. 10.
- Ralf von den Hoff, Philosophenporträts des Früh- und Hochhellenismus (Munich 1994), 97, no. 6, figs. 87-90 (from a cast in Göttingen).
- P. Zanker, The Mask of Socrates. The Image of the Intellectual in Antiquity (Sather Classical Lectures, vol. 59 (Berkeley/Los Angeles 1995), 101, fig. 56 (from a cast).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2009, 2 Apr-13 Oct, Alicante, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greek Art and Thought
2010, 30 Apr-30 Aug, Seoul, National Museum of Korea, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greek Art and Thought
2010-2011, 15 Oct-07 Feb, Taipei, The National Palace Museum, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greek Art and Thought
2010-2011, 11 Mar-12 Jun, Kobe City Museum, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greek Art and Thought
2011, 4 Jul-25 Sep, Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greek Art and Thought
2011-2012, 25 Oct-12 Feb, Mexico City, National Anthropological Museum, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greek Art and Thought
2012-2013 6 Oct-6 Jan, Portland Art Museum, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greek Art and Thought
2013, 6 May-6 Oct, Dallas Museum of Art, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greek Art and Thought
2014, 21 Feb-9 Jun, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greek Art and Thought
2014, 2 Aug -9 Nov, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia, The Body Beautiful in Greek Art and Thought
2015, 26 Mar-5 Jul, The British Museum, Defining Beauty: the body in ancient Greek art.
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number