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Bust of Alexander the Great
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Bust of Alexander the Great

Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description Starting from his base in Macedon in northern Greece, Alexander conquered the Persian Empire in 331 BCE and went on to forge an empire that ultimately stretched to India. He founded the city of Alexandria in that same year. His charismatic personality, his premature death at the age of 33, and his idealistic vision of a world unified through Greek culture led him to be associated with heroic figures such as Heracles, men who through their deeds were believed to have become gods. For centuries afterward, Alexander was honored as a god and as the ideal monarch. Portraits of Alexander the Great emphasize his heroic character. The classically youthful face, the anastole (an arrangement of hair upswept from the brow), the long wavy locks, and the hole in the crown for the insertion of a star (a symbol of his deification) identify this work as a portrait of the ruler. The Roman date is indicated by the deep grooves in the hair and the artist's rendering of the folds of the mantle as drilled channels.
Date Description Narrative
Technical Reportx-ray diffraction
5/13/1999Treatmentcleaned; loss compensation
Provenance Giovanni Dattri, Cairo, by 1904 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Giovanni Dattari Sale, Cairo, Paris, 1912, June 17-19, 1912, p. 39, no. 317, pl.xxxv; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1912, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1912

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2nd century CE (Roman Imperial)
Accession Number
H: 12 13/16 x W: 13 7/8 x D: 7 3/8 in. (32.6 x 35.2 x 18.8 cm)


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