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Head of an athlete

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


The head is made of white marble – probably Pentelic. Traces of a reddish-brown paint in the hair and red paint in the eye can be observed with the naked eye.

In 1957 the head was washed, and the tip of the nose examined. In 1958 the head was given a new plinth.

Description of object

The head represents a young man with short hair encircled by a thick fillet. The cauliflower ears characterise him as an athlete, and the hairband indicates that he has been victorious in a sporting event. The face is quite broad, the forehead domed and divided by a horizontal furrow, the nose is flat and bridge of its thickened, which would be consistent with a boxer. The upper lip is short and the mouth has a pronounced Cupid’s bow. There is a dimple in the chin and wrinkles at the outside corners of the eyes. The head appears to have belonged to a statue.

Choice of methods

Visual examination

  • Macroscopic


F. Poulsen (1951), Catalogue of Ancient Sculpture in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. no. 115.

M. Moltesen (2005), Catalogue. Imperial Rome III. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. no. 161.

  • IN 454
  • Head
  • Greek original: 4th century B.C.E / Roman Copy: 1st century C.E.
  • Roman Imperial
  • White marble
  • 1888 from the collection of Count Michel Tyszkiewicz.
  • H. 25 cm.; face 14.5 cm.

Selected photos

  • Img_7123_red