Head of a young man


Detailed information of ArtWork


Head of a young man


H: 19.4 cm

This head was virtually carved in the round, but would have been inserted into a relief or a wall, as suggested by the rough rendering of the upper and, especially, the posterior part of the skull. The surface on each side of the neck would therefore correspond to the background of the work.

Smaller than life-size (about two-thirds of life-size), this head belonged to a young, beardless male figure. Stylistically, the shapes are simple and slightly naive, with only a few nuanced details, aside from the wrinkles visible on the forehead. The facial features are nevertheless accurate enough to classify this sculpture in the private iconography of the Roman period, between the late Republican period and the first decades of the Empire.

There are actually many portraits of this type in other architectural reliefs, inserted into funerary monuments of various types, sizes and shapes, which were largely widespread in all parts of the Roman world at that time, not only in Italy but also, for instance, in the Balkans, in north Africa (Tripolitania), etc.

Superficial wear on the surface, due to a long stay in the air and soil (reddish patina), especially on the left side. The overall glossy appearance of the work results from modern cleaning, The head is partially preserved to the neck, the posterior part is only roughly rendered. The nose and the chin are partly damaged.

Unique work



Genève Switzerland

Rue Etienne-Dumont 9, Geneva, Switzerland