Category: ancient greece

Head of a man 

Head of a man 

Campania, 3rd century BC. 

The head of a young man with wavy hair falling over the middle of the forehead. The physiognomic features correspond to one of the types of iconography of Alexander, a much earlier and better known example which is the bone portrait of the king found in the tomb of Philip II at Vergina (Archaeological Museum, Vergina). 

The same image appears in a mosaic in the House of the Faun at Pompeii, depicting the battle of Alexander and Darius, assumed to be a reproduction of a painted original. That would have been the magnificent work mentioned by Pliny, painted by Philoxenes from Eretria for Cassander´s palace in Pella in the last years of Alexander´s life or shortly after his death. At the same time, the treatment of the terracotta to make it look like a work in bronze, such as the use of the chisel to mark pupils and irises, the small lines at the corners of the lips and the manner of portraying locks of hair, are characteristic of Italian work. 

Source: The Immortal Alexander the Great, Hermitage Amsterdam 2010.

Acropolis of Athens, Greece, 1961. 

Acropolis of Athens, Greece, 1961. 

Gold armband with Herakles knot. Hellenisti…

Gold armband with Herakles knot. Hellenistic, 3rd-2nd century BC, Greek, gold inlaid with garnets, emeralds and enamel. According to the Roman writer Pliny, the decorative device of the Herakles knot could cure wounds and its popularity in Hellenistic jewelry suggests that it was thought to have the power to avert evil. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Marble head of Demosthenes, 2nd century A.D….

Marble head of Demosthenes, 2nd century A.D., Roman, Stone sculpture. Copy of a Greek bronze statue by Polyeuktos of ca. 280 B.C.

Demosthenes (ca. 384–322 b.c.) of Athens is widely considered to be the greatest orator of ancient Greece. Early on in his career, he recognized that the rise in power of Philip II of Macedonia was a danger to the independence of Greece and initiated a lifelong aggressive anti-Macedonian policy, which he pleaded publicly to the Athenians and the citizens of other Greek city-states. More than fifty Roman portraits of Demosthenes are known, an eloquent testimony to his continued popularity in Roman times. All the existing portraits appear to reflect a single Greek original, most likely the posthumous portrait statue by the sculptor Polyeuktos erected in the Agora (marketplace) of Athens in 280 B.C. The fine head captures the orator in a characteristically harsh, unhappy yet determined expression, the countenance of a noble fanatic, great mind, and passionate patriot.

Source: The Metropolitan Museum Of Art.

The statue of Patroclus at the Temple of Hep…

The statue of Patroclus at the Temple of Hephaestus…his death would anger the ancient Greek hero, Achilles who would return to the battlefield for revenge….the momentum had changed in the Trojan War. (Photo: ca.1870 Getty Museum). Photo/text source John Trikeriotis. 

Alexander The Great wearing a lion skin, a frequent attribute…

Alexander The Great wearing a lion skin, a frequent attribute on monetary portraits alluding to Herakles, his mythical ancestor; inscribed letters on the face are later additions. Pentelic marble, ca. 300 BC. Found in Kerameikon. National Archaeological Museum, Athens,

The marriage of Alexander the Great and Roxana, a chased gold…

The marriage of Alexander the Great and Roxana, a chased gold plaque made by Ishmail Parbury.

London, England, AD 1745. Now set as the lid of a 19th-century tortoiseshell box.

The recognition and development of the art of chasing in England in the eighteenth century owed much to the skill and influence of Swiss, German and French immigrants. The most accomplished of these was George Michel Moser (1706-1783), one of only two chasers described and praised by George Vertue (1684-1756). The notebooks of Vertue, a writer, antiquary and an engraver of considerable repute, are the major source of information on artistic life in England in the first half of the eighteenth century.

Ishmail Parbury (died 1746) was the second chaser praised by Vertue, who describes this particular plaque as a ‘masterpiece’. Parbury is still regarded today as one of the finest chasers of the time. It is rare to find contemporary references to chasing (the working of metal in relief from the front), and even more remarkable that the two pieces referred to by Vertue survive today: this plaque, and a gold box by Moser in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The scene on this plaque depicts the marriage of Alexander the Great and Roxanna, the daughter of a defeated King. It is based on a tapestry cartoon of 1684-6 by Antoine Coypel (1661-1722): Parbury was probably working from a print.

Source: British Museum

Head of a youth (fragment of a statuette). Asia Minor, Smyrna,…

Head of a youth (fragment of a statuette). Asia Minor,
Smyrna, 2nd century BC. The Immortal Alexander The Great, Hermitage
Amsterdam 2010.

The Dying Alexander (detail) . Head of The Dying Alexander…

The Dying Alexander (detail) .

Head of The Dying Alexander (detail), 17th-18th-century copy after the famous antique marble head in the Uffizi, Florence.

“A dark mist crossed the sky, and a bolt of lightning was seen to fall from heaven into the sea, and with it a great eagle. And the bronze statue of Arimazd in Babylon quivered; and the lightning ascended into heaven, and the eagle went with it, taking with it a radiant star. And when the star disappeared in the sky, Alexander too had shut his eyes.”
The Legend had begun.

~The Nature of Alexander by Mary Renault~

Ruins of Ancient Pella, a birthplace of Alexander The Great….

Ruins of Ancient Pella, a birthplace of Alexander The Great. Pella, Macedonia, Greece.