Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool, World Museum
Bust/herm of an Athlete
Bust or herm of an athlete, Late Augustan/Early Claudian, because of the treatment of the face and the closely packed incised lines. The head is unbroken at the neck from the fragmented bust, the original rim of the bust is preserved at the back and left shoulder.The man has heavy features, strong cheekbones, a wide chin and a big mouth with a fleshy lower lip.The small eyes lie deeply set under bony and swollen eyebrows and the low furrowed forehead.
The hood-like hairstyle is made with sculpted closely-packed incised lines, the hair may had originally been painted or had a helmet or a hood. This hairstyle is of a style worn by athletes from the Archaic through to the Roman period. Images of athletes were often displayed on herm shafts. The square support of the bust as well as the flat way the shoulder ends may indicate that this head was on a herm shaft. The nose is restored, as is the rim of the right ear and the right shoulder with lower part of the bust. There is damage to the forehead, eyebrows and left cheek.