Cast of a Youth
Front view of the Head of a Youth
Cast of a Youth
Side view of the Head of a Youth
Cast of a Youth
Reverse view of the Head of a Youth
Cast of a Youth
Side view of the Head of a Youth

Head of a Youth

Plaster cast, Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA, 1989
Purchased, 1996

Dimensions: H 21.6cm
Acc #: CC36, James Logie Memorial Collection

Copy of a first century AD Roman copy of a fourth century BC Greek original
Found at Epidauros, Peloponnese
Israel Museum, Jerusalem


This head of a young man is slightly under lifesize and includes part of the neck and shoulder. The original may therefore be part of a full statue, or merely a bust.  He gazes downward and to his right. The thick cap of tight curls recalls the luxuriant hair of Greek statues of the late Classical and Hellenistic period (fourth-second centuries BC). The smooth skin and length of the hair, which extends over the forehead, show that the subject was a young adult. The naturalistic facial features are rendered in a style typical of fourth-century Greek sculpture. The expression is calm, and even introspective.

Bust of Herakles


The irises and pupils of the eyes of this portrait are incised, a feature that is not apparent in other Logie casts. In Roman sculpture, incised details of the eyes on stone sculptures did not appear until after 125 AD. It is therefore open to question whether the Roman copy might be dated to the early second century AD. During reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian a “classicizing” style prevailed in imperial portraits. Thick, cap-like hair, similar to the hair in this portrait, was inspired by that of Hadrian himself and was common among portraits of men of that era.

The cast has been carefully painted to imitate bronze using a palette of brown shades. The brighter green patches represent the oxidation process of bronze, to suggest the ‘age’ of the piece.

Further Reading

A short selection of references for this work includes:

  • Burnett Grossman, Janet. 2003. Looking at Greek and Roman Sculpture in Stone: A Guide to Terms, Styles, and Techniques. Californa: Getty Publications
  • Department of Greek and Roman Art. 2000. "The Roman Republic". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accessed 30.10.15
  • Kleiner, Diana E. E. 1992. Roman Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press
  • Palagia, O; Pollitt, J. J. 1996. Personal Styles in Greek Sculpture. Cambridge: University Press
  • Richter, G. M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Oxford: Clarendon Press

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