Head of a female statue

This head was once part of a large (over life-size) statue. The neck and upper part of chest has been formed in a wedge-like shape, to be set into the body of the statue. The face and neck are perfectly finished and burnished. The eyes were inset in another material. The hairstyle has been worked only on the front. The back side is unfinished and ends in a plain bun; most probably, this part was covered by a separate element, perhaps a marble peplos, which was set on a deep rectangular cutting found slightly above the forehead (dimensions 2.5 X 6 cm, depth 5.5. cm).

The head is reminiscent of the type of Hera Borghese, which is believed to imitate a 5th c. BC original marble statue by a member of the school of Phidias (possibly Agorakritos) or a bronze statue of Aphrodite by Polykleitos.

The stylistic and technical traits of the sculpture indicated a Roman date, most probably at the time of Hadrian (2nd c. AD). The size of the head and the overall appearance suggest that it was the cult statue of a goddess (Hera or Aphrodite) or of a deified Roman Empress who was given Classical characteristics to resemble a divinity.

– Choremi-Spetsieri Α. 2006. Cat. no. 108, in Choremi-Spetsieri Α. – Zarkadas Α. (eds), The Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum. Ancient Art, Athens, 178-181.