Collection online

statue

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1861,1127.13

  • Description

    Head from a bronze portrait statue of a North African; cast by the indirect lost-wax method, with incised beard, moustache and eyebrows. The lips, eyelids and eyelashes were made separately. The copper-plated lips were inserted from the inside, with the original red tint contrasting with the colour of the face. The lips are slightly parted and the teeth are of bone. The pupils of the eyes were originally of glass, and the whites of magnesium carbonate. The thick-walled casting of this bronze suggests a date of about 300 BC. The facial characteristics suggest that the man is North African, possibly an important member of the Berber peoples, the native Cyrenaicans.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 300BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 26 centimetres
    • Width: 20 centimetres
    • Depth: 26 centimetres
    • Height: 30.48 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Found eleven feet below the mosaic floor of the Roman reconstruction of the temple (of Apollo at Cyrene), which housed the colossal cult statue of Apollo now in The British Museum. With the bronze head were found charred fragments of bronze horse's legs, and remains of gold leaf: parts of the sculpture were probably gilded. The portrait may have come from a single horseman, or from a chariot group commemorating a victory in a sporting event.

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  • Bibliography

    • Bronze 268 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G22/wc2

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited: 2012, May-Sep, Bath, The Holbourne Museum, 'Presence: The Art of Portrait Sculpture' 2013, 8 Feb-26 May, Frankfurt, Stadtische Galerie Liebieghaus, Zuruck zur Klassik
    2015, 28 Jul-1 Nov, Los Angeles, J Paul Getty Museum, Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculptures of the Hellenistic World
    2015-2016, 6 Dec-13 Mar, Washington, National Gallery of Art,Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculptures of the Hellenistic World

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1861

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1861,1127.13

Head from a bronze portrait statue of a North African, possibly a Libyan; cast by the indirect lost-wax method, with incised moustache and eyebrows. The lips and eyelashes were made separately. The teeth are of bone; the pupils of the eyes were originally of glass, and the whites of magnesium carbonate.

Head from a bronze portrait statue of a North African, possibly a Libyan; cast by the indirect lost-wax method, with incised moustache and eyebrows. The lips and eyelashes were made separately. The teeth are of bone; the pupils of the eyes were originally of glass, and the whites of magnesium carbonate.

Image description

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Object reference number: GAA9482

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