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Head of an Athlete
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Head of an Athlete


Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description This small head is unusual the shape of its skull, which transforms from a weathered and poorly defined mound on the top into defined locks of twisted hair down the back of the head and neck. The skull is hairless on either side of the asymmetrical crest. The forehead recedes back sharply and is marked by a deep furrow. The eyes have a semicircular shape and are heavily lidded, perhaps influenced by the portraiture of Ptolemaic Egypt. They are close-set, and there is damage to the area around the left eye and the right eyebrow. The nose has been broken off from bridge to tip. The full upper lip protrudes beyond the lower and the corners of the mouth are deeply drilled. The head’s physiognomy may be comparable to some private portraiture of Ptolemaic Egypt, and may be a Hellenistic or Roman interpretation of a foreigner. It may also be the portrait of an athlete, as both ears show the so-called cauliflower ear deformity, which is usually caused by repeated blunt trauma experienced by individuals who participate in such sports as boxing.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
12/31/1969Technical Reportx-ray diffraction; other
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Creators
Period
1st century BCE-1st century CE (Late Hellenistic-Roman Imperial)
Medium
marble
(Sculpture)
Accession Number
23.103
Measurements
4 7/8 x 3 7/16 x 4 1/4 in. (12.5 x 8.7 x 10.8 cm)
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