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Portrait said to be of Lycurgus
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Portrait said to be of Lycurgus

Early II century. White marble.
Not on display

This poorly preserved Roman copy of a Greek original from around 290 b.c.e. belongs to a rather irregular group of five Roman copies of a scupture baselessly identified with Lycurgus of Sparta. It presents an older man with a thick beard and relatively long hair whose ends were sculpted to face inward on the sides and back. His amiable expression is the result of damage to the brows and does not correspond to the Greek original. This copy in Madrid appears to date from the beginning of the Antonine dynasty but the model is not easily dated. While the contours of the head and the facial expression suggest the preexistence of a portrait of Socrates from around 330 b.c.e.; the hair, which recalls the portrait of Euripides (E00080), and the representation of the area around the eyes suggest that it dates from around the beginning of the third century. We can only speculate as to the identity of this Greek who, judging from the number of copies, must still have been famous in Roman times.

Technical data

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Inventory number
Portrait said to be of Lycurgus
Early II century
White marble
Height: 58 cm; Width: 35 cm; Base/bottom: 29 cm; Weight: 77.4 Kg
Collection of cardenal Camillo Massimo (Massimi), Rome; collection of VII marqués del Carpio, Rome, 1676-1682; collection of Casa de Alba; Royal Collection (collection of Isabel de Farnesio, Palacio de La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia)

Bibliography +

Hübner, Emil, Die Antiken Bildwerke in Madrid, Druck Und Verlag Von Georg Reimer, Berlín, 1862, pp. 112.

Barrón, Eduardo, Catálogo de la escultura. Museo Nacional de Pintura y Escultura., Imprenta y fototipia J. Lacoste, Madrid, 1908, pp. 91-92, n.107.

Ricard, Robert, Marbres Antiques du Musee du Prado a Madrid, Feret & Fils, Burdeos, 1923, pp. 81.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de la escultura, Madrid, 1957, pp. 77.

Blanco, Antonio; Lorente, Manuel, Catálogo de la escultura. Museo del Prado, Patronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1981, pp. nº107.

Schröder, Stephan F., Catálogo de la escultura clásica: Museo del Prado, I, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 1993, pp. 82.

Elvira Barba, Miguel Ángel, El Cuaderno de Ajello y las esculturas del Museo del Prado, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1998, pp. nº50.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, Sección Escultura, 1857. Núm. 282.
282. Una cabeza de marmol de Carrara antigua. / Alto 2 p 6 lin

Inscriptions +

Scrap of paper. On the front

Fleur-de-lis, used as a collection’s mark belonging to Elisabeth Farnese. On the body

Exhibitions +

El cuaderno de Ajello y las esculturas del Museo del Prado
19.10.1998 - 03.01.1999

Update date: 10-05-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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