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Head of a Horseman (known as the de Nion Head)

Head of a Horseman (known as the de Nion Head)

550-540 BC


Overall: 24.1 x 15.5 x 19.5 cm (9 1/2 x 6 1/8 x 7 11/16 in.)

Anonymous Loan 24.2011



Sensitively carved with great respect for pattern and symmetry, this remarkably well preserved head likely comes from a nearly life-size Archaic equestrian sculpture, indicated by its slight turn to the left. Because very few such sculptures survive, their original purpose remains uncertain. They perhaps honored a member of the horse-owning aristocracy or an equestrian victory, or they represented a mythological figure such as Poseidon, a son of Theseus, or one of the twin half-brothers Kastor or Polydeukes. Traces of red in the eyes’ irises and on the hair, beard, and upper lip indicate paint was used for many details, now mostly lost and faded from originally darker colors.

See also
GR - Greek
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Anonymous Loan

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