Articles with keyword: Roman copies

Asymmetries in sculptured heads of ancient greek intellectuals
Evi Sarantea


Volume 6, Issue 1

 | pp.



Some sculptured heads of ancient Greek intellectuals, preserved today in Roman copies, are portrayed with asymmetries (dissimilarities between the two sides) and are of special interest. Dissimilarities usually involve the size, the shape, or the positioning of the eyes. Some slight deformation of the left side of the face is noticeable. These asymmetries occur in a small percentage of the Roman copies, and it is thought by the author that they are deliberate and intentional. They fall within a particular manner of rendering of the figures which runs through the centuries-long Greek tradition of portraiture from the Archaic period to the Byzantine era. The sculptors of the Roman age produced copies of the original heads of distinguished ancient Greek intellectuals, differentiating their appearance slightly and designing them with calculated asymmetries. In this way they drew attention to the superiority of these figures to ordinary people, or a sense of awe felt towards these spiritual benefactors of mankind. Certain of the differences between the right and left side of the heads are possibly associated with Dualism.