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Pseudo-Archaic Athena Promachos

Also known as the Herculaneum Pallas. The head does not fit very well and may not belong.

This is an example of the Roman fashion for “archaising”, making sculptures in imitation of the early Greek Archaic style. Archaising sculpture is characterised by the use of an amalgam of stylistic versions of the Archaic period, such as the long parallel folds of the clothing (but with anachronistic sleeves), and the neo-Classical face. But the features are so eclectic and stylised that they could never be believed to be of real Archaic date.

Pallas is the Roman equivalent of Athena, and the striding pose brandishing a spear aloft (promachos) was a popular subject on painted pots from earlier centuries. A huge Athena Promachos stood on the Athenian Acropolis

Greek marble
Location of Original: 

Naples, National Museum 81


Purchased in 1884 from Naples Museum


Ruesch: Guide to the National Museum, Naples, 28, no.101
Comparetti & DePetra: La Villa Ercolanese dei Pisoni, 277 & pl. XIX
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 24, no.84
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 891, no.72
Pollitt: Art in the Hellenistic Age, 183, pl. 193
Fullerton: The Archaistic Style in Roman Statuary, 46 & 69 & pl.16

Roman (?). Original: C2 BCE (?)

Found at Herculaneum

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