skip to content

Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Rayet Head

The Rayet head is regarded as one of the finest of all Archaic sculptures, and it created a great buzz of excitement when dug up in the 1870s. Scholars have speculated for decades about other works possibly by the same sculptor, a link with the sporting reliefs found in the Themistoklean wall, whether the head belongs to some legs discovered in 1953 — and so on.

The head was originally part of a roughly lifesize standing kouros. His ears are unusually fleshy, leading to a claim that he may represent a boxer or wrestler. The original of this cast clearly shows remnants of the red paint that decorated the young man’s eyes and hair, which by now is being cut short in this sort of sculpture

Location of Original: 

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Copenhagen 418


Purchased from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in 1933


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 76 (n.4)
Richter: Kouroi, 116, pl. XCII, figs.325-6
Buschor, E: Frühgriechische Jünglinge, figs.122-3
Stewart: Greek Sculpture, 122, pl. 137

530-520 BCE

Found “in west Athens, near the gasworks”. Originally from the Rayet Collection, Paris, prior to Copenhagen

Search Casts

Use our search tools to search the Casts Archive

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge

Every cast tells two stories.
One ancient. One modern.

Admission is free.

We are open

Opening hours

Tues-Fri: 10am-5pm
Sat: 10am-1pm (Univ. term-time only)
Sun & Mon: Closed

Closed on Bank Holiday Mondays

Visit us

Museum of Classical Archaeology
Faculty of Classics
Sidgwick Avenue

Get in touch

Tel. +44 (0)1223 330402

Facebook Twitter

For an explanation of what personal information we gather when you visit the University’s website and details of how that information is used please see the following University Privacy policy:

Copyright statement

All images and material on our websites are ©Museum of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge unless otherwise stated. Permission is required to reproduce our images.

See also our Copyright Notice and Take Down Policy.

Important Information

Museum of Classical Archaeology Web Accessibility Statement