About this object

Bust of a young male, directly looking out at the viewer with a friendly expression drawn in the upturned corners of the mouth. The brow of the face is curved, the lids of the eyes are well defined. He has a smooth forehead and cheeks with no particular modelling but an exaggerated chin at the lower face. There is a diadem on the head and it is composed of a circlet around which ribbons are wound and with the long ends of the ribbons knotted at the back. The hair is flat on the crown but ordered in clumps with curled ends. At the forehead the curls separate in different directions at the middle point. At the top and back the hair is longer and there is a pinwheel motif from which the hair emanates at the top. It is these details that define the head as is in the Polykleitan tradition and most likely from a Roman classising workshop.
The head is not broken from the bust and may have therefore belonged to a statue that was converted into a bust. Parts of the lower right cheek are very flat as is the jawline both indication that these areas had been recut. The ends of the diadem do not appear at the back and may have been smoothed.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st Century AD
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    480 mm x 230 mm
  • Note
    Furtwangler first commented on the quality of the bust and associated with Polykleitos, and in particular the Dresden youth as a later work by the sculptor. Bartman noted that 59.148.192 is slightly different to the type of Dresden youth as the head is not downwards and leftward turned. The hair is also different to the Dresden youth and the inclusion of the diadem is also a novel element. Bartman believed that the head is not exactly similar to that of the Dresden youth and could therefore only broadly be placed in the Polykleitan tradition. She also observed that the theme of young males was very popular in Rome and created by classising Roman workshops. The absence of drillwork and the understated eyes suggest an Early Imperial date. The inclusion of the diadem allluded to other works by Polykleitos and clearly indicates the classical origin of the work. Bartman also noted that youthful statues and busts were popular among 18th century collectors. The restoration of the Dresden Youth by Bartolomeo Cavaceppi probably contributed to the popularity of the theme among collectors.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • A Catalogue of the Ancient Marbles at Ince Blundell Hall

    Ashmole, Bernard

    Author: Ashmole, Bernard
    Publisher: Clarendon Press
    Date: 1929
    Description: An illustrated catalogue of the ancient sculptures collected by Henry Blundell and formerly at Ince Blundell Hall.

  • An Account of the Statues, Busts, Bass Relieves, Cinerary Urns, and other ancient marbles, and paintings at Ince. Collected by H.B.

    Blundell, Henry

    Author: Blundell, Henry
    Date: 1803

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

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    Author: Michaelis, A
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Date: 1882


Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
Object view = Humanities
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