Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Head of a Man with Curled Beard

From The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, 1983 page 47.

Click to enlarge.

4 Head of a Dignitary
Iranian(?). ca. 2000 B.C.
Arsenical copper: h. 13'/2 in. (34.3 cm)

This magnificent copper head is reminiscent of the head of an Akkadian ruler found at Nineveh in northern Mesopotamia. Hollow cast, a dowel on the plate at the base of the neck presumably served to join the head to the body. The heavy-lidded eyes, the prominent but unexaggerated nose, the full lips, and enlarged ears all suggest that this is a naturalistic portrait of a real person, a rare phenomenon in the art of the ancient Near East. Its costly material and impressive workmanship, size, and appearance are all indications that this is a representation of a ruler whose identity remains unknown. The head is one of the great works of art preserved from the ancient Near East. Rogers Fund, 1947. 47.100.80

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