Head of a Youth
Plaster cast, Ministry of Culture Casts and Reproductions, Greece, 1988
Dimensions: H 16cm; W 11 cm
Acc #: CC19, James Logie Memorial Collection
Copy of a marble head of a youth from a relief, c.460 BC
Found on the south slope of the Acropolis, Athens
National Archaeological Museum, Athens, #: 1949
This youth is of the early Classical / Severe style, with a face that is more rounded, volumetric and thoughtful in its expression than earlier examples of Severe style youths. The head is clearly from a relief, as is indicated by the flat left side of the head, which shows where it was removed from a relief panel. The size of the head is around one quarter life size.
This cast has been copied from a relief sculpture found on the south slope of the Acropolis in Athens. The original is dated to around 460 BC. It is difficult to tell what sort of relief scene this sculpture was part of. Because the youth is seen from a three-quarter view, it is possible he was not the main figure in the relief.
Classical heads of young males in Greek art are often described as reflecting athleticism and physical prowess, attributes which were also celebrated in the heroes and gods of myth. In the Classical style, the introduction of a thoughtful gaze and the contrapposto stance were meant to associate youths with heroes and gods.
The cast in the Logie Collection has a small hook of the back. This was inserted during the casting process for hanging.
A short selection of references for this work includes:
- Albersmeier, S. 2009. Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum
- Boardman, John. 1985. Greek Sculpture: The Classical Period. London: Thames and Hudson
- Greek Ministry of Culture. 1988. Catalogue of Casts and Reproductions. Athens: Archaeological Receipts Fund
- Lullies, Reinhard and Max Hirmer. 1957. Greek Sculpture. London: Thames and Hudson
- Payne, Humfry, and Gerard Mackworth-Young. 1950. Archaic Marble Sculpture from the Acropolis. London: The Cresset Press
- Stafford, Emma J. 2000. Worshipping Virtues: Personification and the Divine in Ancient Greece. London: Duckworth
- Stewart, Andrew. 2008. “The Persian and Carthaginian Invasions of 480 B.C.E. and the Beginning of the Classical Style: Part 1, The Stratigraphy, Chronology, and Significance of the Acropolis Deposits,” American Journal of Archaeology, 112, 377-412