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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Arundel Head

This head represents a man of middle age, with a beard, thinning hair, a severe expression and wrinkled brow. His hair is tied back with a band of a type usually associated with kings rather than poets or philosophers. However, the portrait has sometimes been described as Homer or Sophokles.

It is thought to be a Greek work of the second century BCE, a time when it was fashionable to create so-called portraits of earlier historical figures.

It was acquired in the early seventeenth century by the Earl of Arundel, a wealthy and prolific art collector, who considered it important enough to include in a portrait of himself and his wife painted by Van Dyck.

Location of Original: 

London, British Museum Bronzes 847


Walters: Catalogue of Bronzes in the British Museum, 153
Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts XI (1896), 172, pl. 1
Scott: The Pleasures of Antiquity, 19
Burn: Greek and Roman Art (1991), 131

C2 BCE (?)

Taken from Constantinople in the early 17th century and put in the Arundel Collection

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