Bartlett Head, detail of eyes from left

Bartlett Head, detail of hair from back

Bartlett Head, detail of hair

Bartlett Head, frontal view

Bartlett Head, back view

Bartlett Head, three-quarter view from right

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Title: The Bartlett Head
Context: From Athens
Findspot: Found at Athens, in the area leading from Monastiraki and the Agora toward the Roman Agora
Summary: Head of a female goddess, perhaps Aphrodite
Object Function: Unknown
Sculptor: In the style of Praxiteles
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Free-standing statue
Category: Single sculpture
Style: Late Classical
Technique: In-the-round
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 330 BC
Dimensions: H. 0.288 m; H. of face 0.162 m
Scale: Life-size
Region: Attica
Period: Late Classical

Subject Description: This goddess, perhaps Aphrodite, turns her head down to her lower right, as is indicated by the curve of the neck. This tilt, as well as the softness of the carving on the skin and the heavy lids, impart a certain gentle nature to the goddess, so that conoisseurs have been inclined to interpret her as Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Her long, wavy hair is bound in a thin taenia (ribbon) that is wrapped twice around her head, and pulled back into a bun at the nape of the neck. Some locks are pulled up in loops at the top of her head, an effect that appears as a topknot, and has been referred to as lampadion ("little-torch").

Form & Style: The intense expresion, prominent brow, and parted lips are aspects of the style that are thought to have been influenced by that of Praxiteles.

Date Description: As this head reflects the style and technique of Praxiteles, it might then have been carved by a younger contemporary under his influence.

Condition: Head only (complete)

Condition Description: Small chips missing from the tip of the nose and the chin. Surface well preserved.

Material Description: "Parian" (Comstock & Vermeule)

Technique Description: This head was carved separately for insertion, as evidenced by the carving on the neck.

Collection History: Formerly in the collection of Mr. Pallis; later E.P. Warren Collection. Acquired by the MFA in 1903.

Sources Used: Boardman 1995, 72, fig. 56; Comstock & Vermeule 1976, no. 55

Other Bibliography: A. Ajootian in Palagia & Pollitt 1996, 109; Bonacasa & di Vita 1996, 153; Boardman 1995, 72, 86, fig. 56; Salies 1994, 324; R. Trummer, AntPl 22 (1993) 150-51; M.L. Morricone, StudiMisc 28 (1991) 200-201, fig. 17; Dresden cat. 29, under no. 13; Uhlenbrock 1990, 53, n. 24; Kozloff & Mitten 1988, 117-19, under no. 17; Traversari 1988, 157, under no. 53; K.D. Shapiro, AJA 92 (1988) 514; Herrmann 1988, 16; MFA Handbook 1984, 106-107, ill.; LIMC, 2.107 no. 1061, pl. 107; S.L. Faison Jr., The Art Museums of New England (Boston 1982) 158, fig. 59l; Vermeule 1980, 13, 116-17, 154 fig. 13; Vierneisel-Schlörb 1979, 337 (n. 8), 342 (n. 28), 347 (n. 71); M.-A. Zagdoun, BCH 103 (1979) 398 n. 29; Brinkerhoff 1978, 53, 119, 137 (n. 47), 160 (n. 41); Grigson 1978, 87, fig.14; Kyrieleis 1975, 89; Robertson 1975, 395; Abbate 1972, 46, 48, fig. 24; Del Chiaro 1984, 44 (under no. 13), 48 (under no. 15), fig. 13; van Ingen 1939, 37