Roman copy of the 2nd century CE after a Greek original of the 5th century BCE.
Inv. No. 491.
Copenhagen, New Carlsberg Glyptotek Photo by Sergey Sosnovskiy


Roman copy of the 2nd century CE after a Greek original of the 5th century BCE.
Inv. No. 491.

Copenhagen, New Carlsberg Glyptotek
(Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek)

Found by Francesco Capranesi in 1835 at Monte Calvo in the Sabine Mountains. Acquired in 1881 from the Villa Borghese.

1. Fantasy portrait of Anacreon

On the basis of a portrait herm bearing an inscription (Rome, Nuovo Museo Capitolino, A. Hekler, Bildnisse berühmter Griechen, 18 and 52) the lyric poet Anacreon (570-485 B.C.) has been identified as the statue’s subject. The elderly man, standing naked, is covered only around his shoulders by a light mantle, a claina. He sings and plays a lyre, no longer extant. There are traces of a poet’s ribbon, a taenia, running through the hair. The penis is infibulated.

It was not only in the fashioning of the hair and the beard that the running drill was put to use.This tool was utilized as well in differentiating the left leg from the form of the statue’s support. As a copy, the statue dates from the 2nd cent. A.D., the late Hadrianic period, a fact especially indicated by the special form of the statue’s support (see F. Muthmann, Statuenstützen und dekoratives Beiwerke an griechischen und römischen Bildwerke, 1951, 37-467). The present work is a Roman copy of a statue, supposedly created by Phidias, which was placed on the Acropolis in Athens around the year 440 B.C. According to Pausanias (1, 25, 1), this statue was positioned next to the statue of Pericles’ father, Xanthippus.

I.N. 491.
Marble. H. 1.90 m, height of plinth — 0.16 m. The top of head, the right hand, the left forearm and hand and the puntello between the legs are missing. The top of the head and the left forearm have been reconstructed and engrafted. Each of the legs has been broken in several pieces. The surface bears many traces of impact. The eyes are hollowed out and they have been inserted.

Through the mediation of Helbig, the statue was acquired in 1881 from the Villa Borghese in Rome. It was discovered in 1835 at Francesco Capranesi’s excavation of a Roman country villa at Monte Calvo in the Sabine Mountains. The sitting poet (57) was found at the same site.

F. Poulsen 1951, Cat. 409. V. Poulsen 1954, Cat. 1. E. Berger, RM 65 (1958) 18, nt. 62b. Richter, Portraits, I, fig. 278-279, 283. R. Tölle, JdI 81 (1966) 158. J. Dörig, AntP, VI (1967) 23, fig. 10. B. S. Ridgway, The Severe Style in Greek Sculpture (1970) 71, nr. 4. D. Metzler, Porträt und Gesellschaft (1971) 264 ff. B. Fehl, The Classical Monument (1972) pl. 31. A. Hekler, Bildnisse berühmter Griechen (1962) Abb. 2. M. Weber, JdI 91 (1976) 90. Voutiras, Studien, 79. G. M. A. Richter, The Portraits of the Greeks (1984) p. 85. Democracy and classical culture, (Athens 1985) nr. 64. M. Moltesen, Wolfgang Helbig (1987) 191 ff. M. Moltesen, Wolfgang Helbig, AnalRom (1987) 199 ff.
(ńń) 2008. Photo: Sergey Sosnovskiy (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Text: museum inscription to the sculpture.
© 1992. Description: F. Johansen. Catalogue Greek portraits, p. 18, cat. no. 1. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 1992.

Keywords: marble male portrait statue of Greek poet Anacreon Anakreon cloak claina from the Borghese Collection elderly man singing and playing his lyre tied infibulated penis infibulation inserted eyes insert sculptor Phidias Inv No 491
History of Ancient Rome