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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

Number: 
36
Material: 
Marble
Location of Original: 

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Copenhagen 418

Size: 
0.31m
Accession: 

Purchased from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in 1933

References: 

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

Date: 
530-520 BCE
Provenance: 

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

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