Bearded Mask from Marathon, frontal view

Bearded Mask from Marathon, left profile

Bearded Mask from Marathon, left profile

Bearded Mask from Marathon, from left

Bearded Mask from Marathon, detail of face

Collection: Berlin, Antikenmuseen
Title: Bearded Mask from Marathon
Context: Possibly from Marathon
Findspot: Said to be from Marathon
Summary: Mask of a god
Object Function: Cult?
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Free-standing statue
Category: Single sculpture?
Style: Late Archaic
Technique: In-the-round
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 500 BC - ca. 475 BC
Dimensions: H. 0.32 m, W. 0.21 m, D. 0.12 m
Scale: Over life-size
Region: Attica
Period: Late Archaic

Subject Description: The face of a god, broken across the top below the hairline but flat on the back and finished on the bottom, is treated like a mask. It has an extremely high flat forehead, small heavily-lidded eyes sunk deep into the head beneath sharply-cut brows and a small mouth with full lower lip. The beard is long and finely combed; the mustache and the hair immediately beneath the lower lip even finer. The beard comes to an abrupt end, where there is a large trapezoidal cutting for attachment to another object. Blümel has determined that the head sat on a table, as the horned head illustrated in a votive relief from Megara (Berlin 679). That this head/mask also had the ears and horns of a bull is clear from the dowel holes on the left and right of the forehead; the lead attachments for the right side are still in place. Blümel identifies this head, as well as the head in the relief, as representations of the river god Acheloos and suggests it was set up in a sanctuary of the Nymph

Form & Style: The head is either very late Archaic or early Severe in style. The mask-like quality makes it not quite comparable to heads with purely human features. However, the strong symmetry, heavy lids around the eyes and treatment of the beard suggest comparison with bronzes or copies of bronzes from that period. Blümel compares a head of Aristogeiton in the Vatican (Kaschnitz-Weinberg, Mag.Vat Nr.1). The Blond Boy (Athens,Acropolis 689) and Euthydikos Kore (Athens,Acropolis 686) have also been compared

Condition: Intact

Condition Description: Mask of face and surrounding hair, broken at top across upper forehead. Minor damage (small chips) to eyebrows, eyelids, tip of nose, lips and beard. Some weathering.

Material Description: Pentelic marble (Blümel

Collection History: Acquired in 1848 through Schaubert.

Sources Used: Boardman 1978a, fig. 171; Robertson 1975, 177; Blümel 1971, 188ff.; Blümel 1964, no. 12; Ashmole 1963, 215f.