A Roman marble head of Alexander the Great, Antonine, circa 138-161 AD

Over life-size Alexander III, depicted with distinctive wavy hair falling at his furrowed brow and the nape of his neck, his brows carved in relief with notched details, the lidded eyes with incised irises and drilled pupils, his shapely lips above a strong chin.

Clearly identifying this marble head as a portrait of Alexander the Great (366-323 BC) are his characteristic idealized facial features and distinctive “anastolé” hairstyle, with a wavelike formation of locks over the forehead.

Although a number of images of Alexander were made during his lifetime, most of these Greek originals have not survived. The vast majority of his portraits that have come down to us are Graeco-Roman copies, adaptations, and transformations in all media (bronze and marble sculptures, paintings, mosaics, coins, gemstones) that reflected lost Greek originals. These Graeco-Roman images were produced throughout Rome’s empire from about the 2nd Century BC until late Roman antiquity.

More about this ancient work of rare art  here…